If you are unable to work due to a disabling medical condition or illness, you know how financially crippling this situation can be. You cannot work, which means you cannot earn an income to support yourself and your Alabama family. You may think that the best way forward at this point is to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Seeking Social Security Disability Insurance is not an easy process, even for individuals who have a valid disabling medical condition. You may find it beneficial to learn about exactly what you need to apply and what to expect from the process before you proceed. Preparation can help you avoid missteps in the application process and may give you a stronger chance of successfully obtaining the benefits you need.

Documents to gather

The Social Security Administration carefully reviews all of the documentation a person includes with his or her claim. It’s important to make sure you have exactly what you need and that everything is accurate and up to date. Some of the information and documents you will need as you complete your claim include:

  • Birthdates for yourself, your spouse and your minor children
  • Dates of any marriages and divorces
  • Income statements from the past year
  • Information about military discharges and active duty dates
  • Bank account information for direct deposits
  • Medical records and prescription information
  • Contact information for someone who can verify your condition
  • Job history
  • Dates of a work accident and information about a workers’ comp claim
  • Dates of any medical testing or hospital stays 

This is not necessarily a complete list of what you may need for your claim. The application process is extensive and confusing, which is why many applicants find it beneficial to seek help from the very beginning stages of their claim.

What’s next?

If you are applying for SSDI benefits, it may surprise you to learn that many initial claims come back denied. This is discouraging, but it is not the end of the road for you. If you are not initially successful, you have the right to provide additional documents or address the SSA’s concern about your claim through an appeal or reconsideration. 

Whether you are completing your initial claim or you have received a notice of a denied claim, you may want to seek guidance from an experienced Social Security attorney. Starting with a complete evaluation of your case, you can better understand the options available to you and how you should move forward.