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How to apply for Social Security disability benefits

While we often use our blog write about the many ways in which disabilities are highlighted in our society, today we're going to get back to the basics of Social Security disability benefits. Many people in New York live with disabilities. And as many of those people know, living with a disability can make it very difficult to work and earn a living. It is for this reason that Social Security disability benefits exist. But how do you go about getting them? 

First, you need to apply. The application process, however, can be complicated, so sometimes it's helpful to have a professional on your side. You will have to submit medical records detailing your condition as well as contact information for any treatment center, hospital and doctor you have seen in relation to your disability.

In addition to supplying your Social Security office with medical information, you'll also need to submit information about any recent jobs you have held along with a federal tax return. Once you have compiled all necessary documents and information, you'll need to submit them.

Today, New Yorkers have the option to apply for benefits online, but applications can also be turned in at a Social Security office. Then, you'll have to wait. The decision process can take several months to complete because so many people apply each year. If you are approved, you'll begin to receive benefits. If you are denied, you have the option to appeal.

Being denied benefits can very frustrating. However, it does not mean you are out of luck. Appealing the process can take some extra time and effort, but for those who need benefits to get by, it is worth it. To ensure that you don't miss anything, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney.

Source: Public Opinion, "SOCIAL SECURITY: Apply for disability benefits online," Oscar Torres-Torres, July 9, 2013

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