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What types of documentation is needed to apply for SSD benefits?

Good health is something we can never take for granted. Even people in Philadelphia who eat right, exercise and in general take good care of themselves can fall victim to a severe injury or debilitating illness. It doesn't take long for such conditions to take a toll on a person's body, and the more severe and long-lasting the injury or illness is, the harder it is on a person's health and well-being. Unfortunately, a full recovery is never possible for some people. When this is the case, individuals may want to learn more about applying for Social Security disability benefits.

When an individual applies for SSD benefits, there may be certain types of documents that the individual will need to send either via mail or take directly to their area Social Security office. Some information that may be needed includes the individual's birth certificate and Social Security number. If the individual had a job, the person's most recent W-2 may be needed. Similarly, if the individual was self-employed than the individual's Schedules C and SE and 1040 may be needed. If the individual had ever filed for workers' compensation, this information also may need to be provided as well. In addition, an individual may need to supply information about where the person worked and when for the previous 15 years.

Certain types of contact information can also be important. People may need to supply the contact information of the physicians or other medical professionals that treated them. In addition, the results of any medical tests performed on the individual who is applying for benefits may need to be provided, along with the types of medications the individual takes and the name of the medical professional who prescribed them.

This list is not all-exhaustive. In fact, applying for SSD benefits can be pretty complicated. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to be approved, and it is not unusual for an application to be denied the first time around. Keep in mind that if that happens, an appeals process is in place. However, disabled individuals should not lose hope. With the right help, individuals applying for SSD benefits can make sure they provide the necessary information to have their applications approved.

Source: The Motley Fool, "How to Apply for Social Security Disability," Matthew Frankel, April 14, 2016

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee