The law grants people with disabilities the right to financial support payments for the time that they are unable to work because of their disabilities, even if the period of disability is indefinite. Ideally, a disabled person should be able to begin receiving benefits after filing a disability claim with his or her insurance company, if the disabled person has employer-provided insurance. Additionally, it is possible to apply for disability by submitting a disability application on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website.
How to Claim Disability
The first step is to provide documentation of your disability qualifications; your doctor can provide this. The disability application will ask you to list the medical condition that has rendered you temporarily or permanently unable to work; many different medical conditions qualify, from injuries and illnesses that impair mobility to mental illnesses like clinical depression and anxiety. When filing for disability, you will need to include documentation of your qualifying medical condition on your disability claim. If you filed a claim for disability benefits with the SSA, and the SSA approved your claim, this determination is a valuable piece of evidence that you should provide to your private insurance company when applying for disability benefits with them.
Information to Include with Your Disability Application
As you prepare to submit your disability application on the SSA website, make sure you have access to the following documents and information.
- Your social security number (SSN)
- Your birthdate
- Your place of birth
- If you have ever been married, the SSN, birthdate, and place of birth of your spouse and/or former spouse(s), as well as when and where the marriage ended, if applicable
- If you have children under the age of 18, their names and birthdates
- Contact information of doctors who have treated you for conditions related to your disability
- Names of prescription medicines you take, along with the names of the prescribing doctor(s) and the dates these medicines were prescribed
- Names and dates of diagnostic tests used to make a declaration of disability
- The contact information of your current employer, if you are currently employed
- A detailed list of your employment history for the 15 years leading up to your diagnosis of disability
- Your dates of military service, if you served in the U.S. Armed Forces before 1968
- Information about workers’ compensation benefits you receive or for which you plan to apply
- U.S. birth certificate or naturalization certificate
- Income tax returns for the last two years
What to do if the Insurance Company Does Not Accept Your Disability Application or Your Disability Benefits have been Terminated
If your employer-provided insurance company refuses to pay the disability benefits that are part of the insurance plan in which you are enrolled, and if you genuinely meet the criteria to qualify for disability benefits, you might have grounds for a lawsuit. Additionally, if you think that the amount of benefits offered is insufficient, consult a personal injury attorney before you accept the offer.
If you have been receiving disability benefits from your insurance company and your insurance company terminates your benefits, you generally must file an internal appeal of the termination before you can bring a lawsuit. It is ideal to obtain a lawyer for the internal appeal against your insurance company in case your appeal is denied and you subsequently file a lawsuit. If your benefits have been wrongfully terminated, you may be able to recover damages for past benefits owed to you and enforce your rights to future benefits.
When to Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
A chronic illness or long-lasting injury can be financially devastating. The benefit payments offered by SSA or your private insurance company might not be enough to sustain you and your family. A personal injury lawyer can help you recover enough compensation to save you from constant financial insecurity.