SSDI- How can I help family member get benefits?
Helping family member get SSDI
Many of us watch friends or family members suffer from a debilitating health condition and wonder if there is something we can do for them. What if you family member is too sick to work? May be they are disabled but they are too sick to fight the SSA and win Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? You might be wondering if there is something you can do to help them. The good news is there is.
Validating they meet the requirements for SSI or SSDI
The very first step for all SSDI or SSI applicants is to make sure they qualify. If your family member is applying for SSDI you can review their Statement of Earnings report, which is sent by the SSA, and make sure they have sufficient work credits to qualify for SSDI. If they do not, they will be automatically denied, and you will have to see if they can qualify for SSI benefit.
Next, talk with your family member and make sure they are not working too much or making too much money. This is also another common reason that many applicants are denied.
Finally, make sure they have a health condition which is going to last at least 12 continuous months and is considered severe. If your family member has not seen a medical doctor or specialist for their condition you can help them get proper medical care. Because the SSA makes their disability decision almost exclusively based on a claimants current medical records, getting good medical care is one of the most important things your family member will need to do to qualify for benefits.
Helping applicant complete the SSI or SSDI application
After you have verified your family members eligibility one of the most helpful things you can do is help complete the disability forms. Prior to completing the forms, however, you will need to gather a variety of documents and forms. These will need to be copied and made available to the SSA. Information which you will need to collect includes:
- Employment records for the last 15 years and the date of the last day you worked
- Prescription information, including, names, dosage amount and prescribing doctors
- Hospital, doctor, and clinics names, phone numbers and addresses
- The Social Security Number of the individual applying for Social Security Disability benefits
- A Valid birth certificate
- Marriage and dependent information
- Public benefit information you are currently receiving
- Information about your disability
- W-2 tax forms
The final step in the SSDI or SSI disability process is to complete the disability forms. Disability applicants can generally allowed to apply online at www.ssa.gov, by phone at 1-800-772-1213 or in person by making an appointment and visiting the nearest SSA office.
Keep in mind, the process is very long and not everyone is approved. Make sure you complete all further requests that are made by the SSA, and if your family member is scheduled to see a consultative examiner you can offer to drive them to the appointment.
If you feel the process is too overwhelming or if your loved one needs more assistance than you can give, contact a disability lawyer.