If you are unable to work, you may have a rightful claim to disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration holds a strict view of what kinds of medical conditions actually qualify as disabling. In addition to the qualification requirements, the process itself can be lengthy, complex and frustrating for applicants.
You may find yourself unable to work due to a medical condition, serious injury or mental disorder, but you may not know where to begin with your benefits application. One of the things that you can do to improve your chance for a successful application is to know how to prepare your claim and gather important documentation.
What you need for your application
There is significant documentation needed to apply for disability benefits. The SSA requires a significant amount of information and evidence of your medical condition, including the following:
- Information about all of your West Virginia doctors and medical care providers, including phone numbers, addresses and the dates of your visits
- Proof of your age and your Social Security number
- Information about all of the medication you are taking, including the names and dosage amounts
- Results of any lab work or medical testing done
- Information about the job you used to have, including the kind of work it was and how long you worked there
Preparing your application can be a daunting task. Missing or incorrect information can lead to setbacks with your claim, even leading to a denial. It may be beneficial to work with an experienced legal ally as you take the following steps to prepare your claim:
- Locate paperwork
- Complete forms
- Speak with your doctor
- Understand eligibility requirements
This is not an easy process, and many first-time applications come back denied. It can be helpful to take the time to learn about your rights and options before you start the process.
Protecting your rights
Disabled individuals have the right to seek benefits through either Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance. If you believe you have the right to this type of financial support, you do not have to walk through the claims process alone.
Even with a disabling medical condition and a thoroughly completed application, it can still be complex to actually obtain the benefits you deserve. However, preparation and a knowledge of what to expect from the process can reduce your stress as you complete your paperwork, request reconsiderations of your application and even appeal denied claims.