Social Security Disability as it is known today was established in 1954 when the Social Security Act was amended to offer benefits to disabled workers in the 50-64 age range and also disabled adult children. In 1960 the law was amended again to allow workers of any age and their dependents to receive disability payments. In 1960, over 500,000 people received disability benefits that averaged about $80 per month.
The Social Security Administration manages the Disability program. Contacting the agency is the first step when an individual feels that he or she will no longer be able to work due to an injury or illness. The Disability Determination Service in the state where an applicant resides is responsible for reviewing medical records and determining if an individual is too disabled or ill to return to work.
Individuals who suffer from conditions that render them unable to be gainfully employed may be eligible for Social Security Disability. An applicant must have a disability or illness that has been diagnosed and treated by a healthcare provider. The applicant’s doctor must provide documentation that clearly outlines the scope of the disability and why it prevents an individual from working. To receive benefits, there must be medical proof that the applicant’s condition will prevent him or her from returning to work.
How to Apply
A Social Security Disability claim is not difficult to initiate. Persons who feel that they might qualify for disability can start the application online, over the telephone, or by visiting a Social Security office. The purpose of the application is for the Social Security Administration to collect identifying information such as age, proof of identity, work history, and medical history regarding the disabling condition. Once that information has been collected, the applicant will need to make sure that his or her health care providers send medical records that include treatments, lab test results, x-rays, and any other pertinent information.
The Approval Process
Several months may pass before an applicant receives notification regarding approval or denial of disability benefits. If the application is approved, an applicant may receive back pay that covers the months he or she would have been eligible for payments while awaiting a decision.
Approval for Social Security Disability is not automatic. In fact, if the Disability Determination Service finds that an applicant does not qualify for benefits, the application will be denied. If an applicant’s initial application is denied, there is an appeals process. Like the initial application, an appeal can be started online, by telephone, or by visiting a Social Security Office. Many people find that hiring an attorney can help them be successful when appealing a denial.
Where to Find More Information
The Social Security Administration is the best source of information regarding the disability program. An individual whose injury or illnesses may prevent him or her from initiating an application may ask a family member, friend, helping professional, or an attorney to assist with the process. Visit social security offices near me to find your local Social Security office near you.