One of the most important steps in being approved for Social Security Disability Insurance is the application interview. Interviews take place at a local Social Security office and will involve a meeting with a Social Security claims representative. You may also have to meet with a disability examiner as well.
To give yourself the best chance of being approved, you’ll need to bring several documents with you to help support your claim.
A picture ID and a birth certificate – While a claims representative can still identify you through other means, producing a picture ID and a birth certificate will speed the process and add to your credibility.
Medical history – It is vital to supply the claims representative with the most complete medical history that you can provide. Social Security will need all the names, addresses and phone numbers of your treating physicians, hospitals, doctor’s offices and other places that have rendered service to you. In addition, you should also provide the dates of treatment, past and current medications, and any tests and results. This information will be turned over to a disability examiner who will use the information to obtain your medical records by sending out a Medical Evidence of Record request to your service providers.
Early records – As part of your medical history, you have the most to gain by providing information as to when you first became disabled. This establishes a disability onset date that Social Security can use to provide you with the highest amount of disability back pay.
Work history – Social Security will need your work history dating back 15 years prior to the time you became disabled. This “relevant period” is important because Social Security assumes that work performed prior to that time probably used skills that do not transfer to jobs in the present day. By giving your work history, Social Security can use it as a basis to determine if you can use those skills to perform work at the present time. If it is determined that you can still perform work similar to what you have done in the past or perform other kinds of work, your application will be denied.
Personal information – Social Security also needs complete information about your marriage(s), military service and children. This information is needed to process non-medical requirements related to a SSDI claim. If you have a disabled child, they may also be able to receive benefits. If you have military service, in some cases your benefit amount may be increased.
Income and assets – Because SSDI is a needs-based program, Social Security has to evaluate your income and resources. Your claims representative will want to know about any vehicles, stocks and bonds, 401K accounts, real estate or other significant assets. Sources of income may include pensions, donations from non-profits, the VA or Workman’s compensation.