When Do You Need to Apply for Social Security Disability?

If you’re unable to work because of serious health problems, and you’re struggling financially, you shouldn’t have to just suffer through it without support.

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can give you a financial lifeline and a greater sense of independence and calm.

But how do you know if you qualify for benefits? And how do you start a disability claim?

Here’s the answer to the first question: You qualify for benefits when your medical conditions and impairments make working full-time impossible.

And you want to apply as soon as you know this, because there is a wait, and the sooner you start, the sooner you may collect disability income.

Simple as that.

But how do you start? Applying for benefits isn’t so simple.

Keep reading for more about starting an SSD application.

Horenstein, Nicholson & Blumenthal SSD lawyers have been helping people in Ohio win disability benefits since 1973. Our law firm was created to help everyday people get through difficult tasks like this.

Now, thousands of people can say, “Helping me, that’s HNB.”

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    What To Do First When You’re Starting a Disability Claim

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) says you can start your disability claim in three ways:

    • Filling out an application online.
    • Calling their toll-free number.
    • Visiting your local Social Security office.

    But you need to know that your real best move when you need to start may be calling a disability attorney.

    When you’re ready to apply—whether it’s for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—Social Security says you need information like this:

    • Contact information for doctors, case workers and any other health care providers you’ve seen for the health problems that leave you unable to work
    • Details about all the medications you’re taking
    • Any records you have from visits to doctors, clinics and other care providers
    • Medical test result documents
    • Descriptions of your job, past jobs and what your work involved
    • Tax forms to show your recent income
    • Your Social Security number
    • Proof of your age

    The difficulty comes in when you consider that small mistakes in the information you submit can easily lead to your benefits being denied. In fact, Social Security denies most people when they first apply.

    This is why you may want to work with a disability lawyer who handles your application for you. When health problems are draining your energy, organizing all of this information can feel like an extra burden, anyway. And for disability claims, you pay no attorney fee until you win benefits.

    You can get started by having the lawyers at HNB evaluate your case for free.

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    Stephanie: Most people are denied Social Security disability and SSI. What can help you win benefits?

    Mike: A law firm that helps you apply, to start out right.

    Rob: A lawyer who gets you ready for your hearing with the judge. A lawyer who listens and understands you.

    Fred: Not every law firm does all that. Let HNB help you.

    Announcer: Helping me, that’s HNB. Call 888-66-GET HNB. Horenstein Nicholson and Blumenthal.

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    How a Disability Lawyer Helps Your Claim

    Successfully applying for disability benefits requires more than just listing information.

    What you’re really doing is making an argument to Social Security about why you deserve to receive monthly checks.

    So a disability lawyer does more than help with your application. A disability lawyer builds your case.

    Your lawyer helps your claim in several ways, including:

    • A disability lawyer takes over the legwork from you.
    • A disability lawyer knows what information is important to include, and what is not.
    • A disability lawyer knows how to present your information in a way that’s most likely to lead to a benefits approval.
    • If you’re denied, a disability lawyer knows how to handle your appeal, which is more complicated than applying.
    • If you go to a hearing with a disability judge, your lawyer represents you there, presenting your arguments for benefits and cross-examining experts who testify, such as a medical expert who might say you can still work.

    Disability benefits can make a difference in your life, so don’t take any chances with getting your initial disability claim right. Work with an experienced lawyer, like the ones at HNB.

    When you need to appeal, a report from the US Government Accountability Office even found people were almost three times more likely to win benefits from disability judges if they had representatives.

    Ready to start your disability claim—and reclaim your dignity and independence?

    Call Us Today! 

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    Intake Specialist Jaci Hollmeyer meets with law firm client Jeffrey Thompson at the offices of HNB. The attorneys at HNB give personal attention to your application for disability benefits.

    Intake Specialist Jaci Hollmeyer, left, meets with law firm client Jeffrey Thompson at the offices of HNB. The attorneys at HNB give personal attention to your application for disability benefits.

    Tips for Filling out Social Security Disability Application Forms

    Part of applying for Social Security Disability is filling out pages and pages of forms.

    It can be overwhelming. But following these tips for filling out disability claim forms can lead to a better result:

    • Give Complete Answers. Give Social Security a full picture of your situation and why you need benefits.
    • Don’t Leave Blanks. If you don’t know something that a Social Security Disability form is asking, it’s better to write “don’t know,” “doesn’t apply,” or “information not available” than to leave a question blank. Blanks can lead a claims examiner to wonder why you aren’t telling them something.
    • Answer Correctly. Wrong information on your disability forms can hurt your claim later when it doesn’t match information from your doctors, medical records or additional statements that you give during the process.
    • Don’t Exaggerate. When your life is turned upside-down by health problems, it can be easy to give dramatic answers. This situation, after all, may be one of the greatest hardships you’ve ever faced. But to keep your answers accurate, make them straightforward and blunt.
    • Don’t Sugar-Coat It, Either. On the flip side of “don’t exaggerate,” sometimes people naturally don’t want to sound too negative when explaining their situation to others. This may be OK for polite conversation, but again, for a disability application, be blunt. Explain all the ways that your health impairments limit your daily life.
    • Take Your Time. Think through your answers. Get your answers organized by writing them down separately before you submit them officially.

    One of the first forms you’ll likely see is called the “Disability Report – Adult, Form SSA-3368.”

    This is where you’ll start your claim by explaining to Social Security the health problems that leave you unable to work.

    Other forms that go with your early application for benefits include the Work History Report (Form SSA-3369). And soon after you apply, Social Security will ask you to fill out a form detailing your everyday activities, called the Function Report (Form SSA-3373).

    It’s a lot.

    But you don’t have to deal with it alone.

    Get Help from HNB