If you are suffering from a severe medical or psychological disability, one that prevents you from doing your normal daily tasks or keeps you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, obtaining these benefits can be a difficult and time-consuming process, and you will need several types of documentation available for your application. Here are five things you will need if you intend to apply for SSDI or SSI:
- Your application documents
- Obviously, the first thing you will need to apply for SSDI is the application itself, known as Form SSA – 16. Fortunately, you can apply online, but you can also submit it over the phone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or by visiting your local Social Security office. However you choose to submit your application, you should make sure you have all the other important documentation before you begin the application process.
- Birth certificate and immigration status
- The second thing you need to apply for SSDI or SSI is a birth certificate (or other equivalent proof of birth). If you are an immigrant, you will also need documentation to show you are a permanent resident or naturalized citizen. Without these documents, they may not be able to show you are legally eligible for Social Security disability benefits, and you may be denied outright.
- Employment documentation for the past year
- You will also need to show any relevant employment documentation to demonstrate your income. This means a W-2 form for people in regular employment, or a 1099 or other self-employment documentation for independent contractors and self-employed workers. This is because both SSDI and SSI have maximum income limits for eligibility, and if you make more money than that maximum permits, you can be denied benefits.
- Medical evidence
- If you have any available medical evidence for your disability, you should make sure to have that available for reference when applying for SSDI or SSI. This evidence includes medical records from your doctor, as well as any specialists you have seen or any hospitals you have visited. These records will help to demonstrate your disability, increasing your chances at obtaining benefits.
- Any proof of settlements or workers’ compensation
- You should also make sure to have any documents related to any injury you received on the job, such as pay stubs, proof of a legal settlement, or documentation from a workers’ compensation claim. These documents can help to establish the origin of your injury and increase your chances of obtaining SSDI or SSI benefits. If you are not sure what to do, you should speak with a lawyer who has experience handling SSDI and SSI claims, who can help you through the process.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.