It is no secret that many people are turned down after their first application to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. This fact can be very intimidating for new applicants, and many are afraid to even begin the process for fear of rejection.
While there is no surefire way to guarantee your application will be successful on your first attempt, I have noticed over the years that many people are most overwhelmed by the amount of documentation and evidence they are required to submit with their application. Missing or insufficient paperwork is quite often what I assist with in the appeal process, so in order to help you improve your odds of receiving benefits, I wanted to put together a brief preparation guide.
When most people apply for SSD, they are extremely overwhelmed and stressed about their injury and financial outlook. They often rush to complete the application, and may miss critical information that will only delay their benefits. Your best bet is to begin gathering information as soon as possible after you are injured or your condition worsens, focusing primarily on employment history and medical records.
Employment History Information to Gather
Because your SSD benefits are reliant on your work history, it is very important that you have records of your current and previous employers and income. Required documentation includes:
- Your current employer’s information and your salary for the past two years (W-2 forms)
- Record of military service if applicable (DD-214)
- A copy of your Social Security statement
- A list of all previous employment (up to 15 years prior to your disability)
- A list of other benefits you have applied or will apply for (workers’ compensation, etc.)
Medical Information Required to Apply
Your SSD award will be heavily dependent on the medical evidence you provide about your disabling condition. You can call each medical facility you visited to receive your records. You will need to gather the following:
- Information for every medical facility and medical professional you have seen since your disability began, including dates and patient ID information
- All records of medical tests/procedures, including date, physician, and facility of administration
- A full list of your prescriptions and prescribing physicians
Preparation is Key to SSD Success in New Jersey
While the SSD application system is challenging to navigate, having the proper documentation on hand when you apply makes the process much simpler. If you have received a denial and are unsure of how to proceed, my Morris Plains disability law firm can help. Click on the live chat link to be connected with a firm representative now, or fill out our online contact form on this page.