It’s up to you if you want to tell others that you’re receiving disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not actively publicize the fact that you’re on disability. Millions of people receive benefits from the SSA. These benefits can positively impact recipients, which no one should feel ashamed about.
It’s notable that disabilities aren’t free handouts, either. The SSA utilizes a strict application process to ensure that disability only goes to those who need it. If you’re receiving disability benefits, it’s because the SSA determined that your quality of life would suffer without them.
The Social Security disability process may partially publicize that you’re seeking benefits during the evaluation process. They may contact your doctor, family, and friends to understand your condition better. This type of contact could tip off your inner circle to the fact that you’re seeking benefits.
Applying for Social Security Disability
Before applying, you should check to see if you meet the SSA’s eligibility requirements.
Once you’ve ensured that you meet these requirements, you can use the SSA’s online portal to complete the application. To complete this application, you should provide the following information:
- Personal information: This category includes your name, Social Security number, and other relevant personal information. You may need to provide your banking information and the names of your minor children.
- Medical information: The primary component of this category is the contact information for the doctor overseeing your medical condition. The SSA can contact this doctor to gather details about your diagnosis and treatment plan. You may need to provide information about medication use, testing, and other types of medical documentation.
- Work information: The SSA needs detailed information about your work history. This includes the amount you’ve worked prior to your disability and yearly earning totals. They also require information about previous workers’ compensation claims and military employment history.
This isn’t a complete list of information that may be required in a Social Security disability application. For a complete list, visit the SSA’s website.
How Do I Know If My Condition Is Considered a Disability?
The SSA maintains a list of qualifying impairments called the Blue Book. This list includes some of the following disabilities:
- Neurological disorders
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Mental disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular disorders
What’s more relevant than your condition, though, is the impact said condition has on your life. During the evaluation process, the SSA can investigate how your condition impacts your life. They may consider these factors:
- The severity and duration of your condition
- Your ability to conduct manual labor, like moving heavy objects
- The extent to which you rely on others for maintaining your standard of living
To conduct this investigation, the SSA can review your medical documentation, speak with a relevant doctor, and may reach out to your family and friends for more information.
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Am I Entitled to Legal Representation?
You’re entitled to legal counsel if you seek benefits or hope to appeal your initial claim. A Social Security lawyer can:
- Identify which benefits you qualify for
- Submit documentation and evidence in pursuit of your claim
- Explain your options to you if your application is denied
- Represent you during the appeals process
- Review your application to ensure that it’s accurate
Hiring a Social Security disability lawyer is more straightforward than you think. Many law firms work on a contingency basis, which means they don’t require upfront fees, and only get paid if your benefits application gets approved. This payment plan allows those struggling with their finances to seek legal aid.
Learn About Your Options From a Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
We understand that dealing with a disability is challenging. Prior to your disability, you could work to support yourself and your family. Now, though, simple tasks may have become tiring and difficult. Social Security benefits can change your life for the better. With the added financial security they provide, you can spend more time on the things that matter, like your family.
At Farmer and Morris Law, PLLC, our team has supported many clients as they’ve navigated the claims and appeals process. We can be here for you to answer questions and help you get your documentation in on time. Contact our offices for a free no-obligation case evaluation today.