If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may know that you could be eligible for benefits through Social Security disability. However, you may not know what to do next, such as how to actually apply for and obtain the benefits you need. It can be helpful to understand the basic information about Social Security benefits in case you need this type of support.
According to the Social Security Administration, approximately one-quarter of all workers could experience disability at some point in their lives. This is a significant risk, and it is prudent to know what you should do in case you are ever in a place where you cannot work. The claims process is complex, but knowing how it works and being cognizant of your rights is extremely beneficial.
How can I apply for benefits?
There are two types of federal disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The one for which you should apply depends on your work history and your income levels. If you do not have a sufficient work history to qualify for SSDI, you could apply for SSI.
Individuals who are suffering from a physical injury, medical condition or mental condition expected to last for a period of at least one year could be eligible for these benefits. If you believe that you should move forward with the disability benefits application process, you will need to take the following steps:
- Gather the necessary information you need to validate your claim. This can include medical records and other documentation that could validate the onset of your disability and the severity of your condition.
- You will need to apply for these benefits either in person or online. You can make an appointment to do this at your local Social Security office if you wish to do so.
Many Alabama applicants find it useful to seek help from the very beginning of the benefits claims process in order to better understand their rights and avoid unnecessary complications.
Your right to benefits
As a disabled individual, you have the right to seek disability benefits through Social Security. However, even people with valid claims may find it difficult to actually get the support they need.
If you believe you meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disability and should move forward with a benefits claim, you have no time to lose in getting the support and guidance you deserve.