Steps to Initiate the Application Process for Social Security Disability Benefits

Steps to Initiate the Application Process for Social Security Disability Benefits

Steps to Initiate the Application Process for Social Security Disability Benefits


The primary reason people may need to apply for social security disability is they have a medical condition that impacts their ability to work and earn a living. While it’s a common misconception that people attempt to file for disability because they are disinterested in gainful employment, it’s important to be aware that this is far from the case. Many people rely heavily on social security disability as a way to support their basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. If you have a serious mental or physical condition that keeps you from retaining employment, here are some steps to take when applying for social security disability benefits:


Step 1: Consult with a Social Security Disability Lawyer

It may be in your best interest to first consult with a social security disability lawyer, like a social security disability lawyer in Wise, VA. He or she can support you by reviewing your situation to determine whether you have a case for disability benefits. This can be tremendously helpful, especially to make sure that you do not waste your time, and that your application is completed properly. A social security lawyer can help you to:


  • Gather necessary information
  • Complete the necessary paperwork
  • Provide you with a clear understanding of the law
  • Be prepared to protect your rights and manage any complications that may arise
  • Outline the next steps in the event that your application is denied
  • Represent you in hearings if necessary


Step 2: Prepare Your Information

Prior to completing the application or meeting with a representative from the Social Security Administration, you will need to gather key information for your application. The SSA provides a disability starter kit for applicants to help understand specific information that will be required as part of the application. Starter kits include FAQ for applicants, documentation checklists and a worksheet that can assist you in gathering information. Some information that you will need to provide includes documentation surrounding your medical condition, dependents, workers’ compensation information (if relevant), and income information.


Step 3: Start the Application Process

When applying for social security disability you have a number of options. You have the ability to apply online, contact a representative from the Social Security Administration to schedule an in-person appointment or complete the application by phone. 


Step 4: Wait for a Decision

Perhaps the most challenging part of the process is waiting for a decision from the SSA once you have submitted your application. Chances are, you are in need of financial assistance as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it can take some time to begin receiving benefits. There is no definitive answer as to how long it may take to get your application approved. In the most straightforward of cases, you may receive a decision in as little as 30 days. It’s important to note that much of the time it takes 30-90 days for the SSA to process applications. However, in some situations, the process may take years. In some cases, you may be required to endure a lengthy appeals process. 


The process of filing for social security disability benefits certainly requires a significant amount of patience. Once the application has been completed, there can be a lengthy waiting process while the Social Security Administration reviews your application and renders a decision. Working with a lawyer who has experience in representing social security disability cases can prove beneficial in ensuring the application is correctly completed in as timely a manner as possible. For further guidance, contact a social security disability lawyer today.

Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into the steps you must take to apply for social security disability benefits.

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