Social Security Disability Application Interview Process
If you have a disabling health condition and are unable to work you may apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration administers two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify for either disability program the applicant must meet certain medical standards, SSI applicants must meet certain resource and income levels and SSDI applicants must have contributed enough payroll taxes to the Social Security Trust Fund and earned enough work credits qualify for benefits.
Unless the Social Security Disability applicant decides to fill out the Social Security Disability application online, the first step in the Social Security Disability process is to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) and set up an interview time. The application can be done over the phone or in person. Regardless of whether or not the applicant is completing the application online or in person, the SSA encourages each person to complete the Social Security Disability checklist prior to their Social Security Disability interview. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability to find the Social Security Disability checklist.
Before the Social Security Disability Interview:
- Download the Social Security Disability Checklist and the Social Security Disability Starter Kit to prepare for the Social Security Disability interview. The Starter Kit includes a Social Security Disability Checklist and general information about the Social Security Disability process and all the necessary forms which the applicant will need to complete for the Social Security Disability application process.
- Gather all the medical records you have in your possession. The Social Security Administration is responsible for gathering any records that you do not have which are determined to be relevant to your Social Security Disability claim. Sending them the records or bringing copies of them to the SSD interview can expedite the SSI or SSDI claims process.
- If you have been injured on the job and have filed a workers compensation claim it is important to bring information about the case such as the settlement dates, the compensation amounts, the date of the injury, the workers compensation claim number and information about all workers compensation disability payments which you have been awarded.
- Provide information about the names and ages of your children and spouses.
- Provide dates of marriages and divorces.
- Gather all financial records including bank account information, routing numbers and direct deposit information.
- Complete the medical form SSA-827 which will give the Social Security Administration authorization to request medical information from hospitals, doctors, clinics and any other type of medical facility.
- The Medical and Job worksheet Adult should be filled out and brought with you to your Social Security Disability interview.
Completing the Social Security Disability Starter Kit and the checklist will help you prepare for your Social Security Disability interview. It is important to keep the appointment even if you do not have all of the information you need. The Social Security Administration may be able to help gather certain pieces of medical data for you.
For the Social Security Disability Interview
It is the day of your Social Security Disability interview and you want to be prepared. What should you bring? Many of the items you will need you have already gathered while completing the Social Security Disability Checklist. In addition to those items it is a good idea to bring the following:
- Birth certificate
- Social Security card
- Investment information
- A list of your current prescribed medications
- Doctors information (names, addresses and phone numbers)
- Any medical records you have in your possession. Copy the relevant medical records prior to the interview and give the copies to the Social Security examiner. Do not ask them to make copies for you.
- A list of any physical or mental impairment which you have and any functional limitations caused by your mental or physical health conditions.
The best way to expedite the Social Security Disability process is to be prepared. Have the information the Social Security Administration requests with you for the interview and be ready to answer questions about your work history, medical condition and current limitations which are caused by your disabling health conditions.
Providing medical records for your conditions can eliminate the need for the Social Security Administration to gather the data themselves which is the most time consuming part of the Social Security Disability decision making process. Medical records should be complete for each medical source and should contain your previous and current medical data. Older records may be needed to establish your eligible onset date (EOD) and current medical records are needed to prove you are still disabled.
Many Social Security Disability claimants want to know why the Social Security Disability process takes so long. It takes a long time because there are so many applicants. With a few simple steps and a willingness to provide the right information, the claimant may be able to save a great deal of time.