How to Make a Disability Claim

Disability insurance is both a state and federal program. These programs can differ greatly, but both deal with a physical impairment that semi-permanently or permanently impedes your ability to work. In both cases, an injured person must seek medical attention, must have contributed to the disability insurance program through taxes and must fill out an application. This article will tell you how to make a disability claim in the United States.


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    Visit the doctor about your injury. While you seek treatment for your disability, you will also be required to provide a doctor's proof of your disability and some medical records.
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    Request your medical records, so you are aware of all of your doctor's views about your disability. These are available through the records office and/or reception of most hospitals and clinics.
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    Decide if your disability is a temporary disability or a permanent disability. This will help you to decide if you should apply for social security disability or state disability. To receive national social security disability, you must be unable to work for a year or longer. Many state agencies provide disability insurance for shorter recovery periods.
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    Research your state's requirements for disability insurance. An Internet search using your state's name and the words "disability claim" should yield results and an online or printed disability application. The state programs differ greatly. Look for information on qualifications, benefit amounts, duration and application process.
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    Begin the application process as soon as you become disabled or know when you will need to be absent from work for your injury. Disability benefits can take a long time to process and may need to be paid retroactively if you receive benefits.
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    Consider hiring a lawyer if you are making a national social security disability claim. If you are impaired and unable to complete an application process or research the needed documentation, hiring a lawyer to represent and submit your claim may increase your chances of receiving national disability insurance.
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    Decide if you would like to apply on the Internet, through the mail or by making an appointment at a local State Disability Insurance agency or at a local Social Security office. You may be limited by your state's application options. An Internet application may expedite the process.
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    Fill out the application by yourself, with the aid of a disability insurance office or with your lawyer.
    • Provide the following information as applicable: social security number, birth certificate, medical records including names, addresses and dates of all medical attention received, a list of all medication you are currently on, a summary of your recent work up to the last 5 jobs you have had, a copy of your most recent W-2 or tax return and bank account details.
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    Furnish your doctor's office with the portion of your application that requires a doctor's signature attesting to the fact that you are disabled and the duration you will be disabled.
    • Some doctor's offices send this and a completed application to the state disability insurance office. If so, complete your application before taking it to your doctor's office.
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    Make copies of the application and all documentation for your records.
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    Submit your application to the state or federal agency you have chosen.
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    Wait for a letter that tells you whether your application was approved and the amount of benefits you will receive.
    • If you were denied benefits, you can appeal this decision. It is a good idea to seek counsel from a lawyer and research the social security or state appeals process.


  • If you are blind, call this number for more information 1-800-772-1213. If you are hard-of-hearing, call this number for more information, 1-800-325-0778.
  • On some applications, another professional may be able to attest to your disability in place of a doctor. These professionals may include a registrar of a hospital, a medical officer of the United States government, or an accredited religious practitioner.

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Categories: Disability Forms Permits and Benefits