When you file a Social Security disability benefits claim, you will need to support your case with information about your medical status, impairments, and income level. The information needed varies, depending on whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Let the Social Security disability attorneys from Berger and Green help you file your claim. We can double-check your application and make sure it stands the best chance of getting approved. If your initial claim was denied, we can prepare your appeal on your behalf and fight for the benefits and back pay you deserve. Call or text our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
The Social Security Administration Expects You to Provide Evidence to Prove Your Impairment
You must provide proof of the severity of your impairment to get approved for payments. There are two ways to do this:
- By meeting the criteria under the Blue Book impairment listing
- Getting a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment
Both of these methods rely heavily on your medical records. The disability examiner who handles your case will need to verify your diagnosis and ensure you meet the qualifications outlined in the Blue Book. You will also be evaluated to determine whether your impairment is severe enough to prevent you from working. To ensure the Social Security Administration has access to everything it needs, you will need to submit information about your doctors. This information will include:
- Your doctors’ names and addresses
- The names of the clinics or hospitals where you have been treated
- The addresses of these clinics or hospitals
- The contact information for your medical providers
- The dates of your doctors’ visits
You will also have to provide information about your health history, including:
- The names and dosages of all medications
- Your diagnosis and when your symptoms began
- How your symptoms affect you in your daily life
The disability examiner will then contact your physicians and get copies of your:
- Medical records
- Laboratory tests and results
- Medical imaging scans
- Treatment notes
- Surgery-related notes
- Other pertinent information about your illness, treatment, or prognosis
If you do not meet the qualifications under the Blue Book impairment listing, the disability examiner may be able to use the medical evidence you provided to evaluate your RFC. In some cases, the examiner may ask for additional information from your doctor. This can include evaluations of your ability to perform everyday activities like walking, standing, and lifting. For this reason, we recommend discussing your application with your doctor before you apply.
Because your RFC considers the type of work you might be able to do, you will also need to provide them with 15 years of past work history, including:
- Dates of employment
- Job titles
- Descriptions of your daily activities and responsibilities
The Social Security Administration Also Needs Income Verification From You
While SSI is an income-based program and SSDI is not, you must still meet income eligibility requirements to qualify for both. SSDI looks at only your earned income to ensure you are not earning above the substantial gainful activity limits. Meanwhile, SSI considers almost all income and you must meet the strict household and individual limits.
You may need to submit:
- Your most recent W-2 tax form; or
- Your most recent federal tax returns
You can submit your forms at the local Social Security field office before it forwards your claim to the Office of Disability Determination Services. It is possible to be denied benefits based on income eligibility limits, even before the Social Security Administration considers your medical history. You must also have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI during this step in the process.
Berger and Green Will Fight for Your Disability Benefits
Berger and Green can help you complete your claim forms properly and ensure you have all the required documentation to support your case. Often, people call us after they have already received a denial notice. This is OK. Many applicants are denied benefits, and we can help you appeal the decision. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for help with your Pittsburgh appeal.
We will ensure the Social Security Administration gets all the information it needs to understand your financial situation and health impairment. Let us request an appeals hearing for you if time permits. We can represent you before the Administrative Law Judge.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Attorney in Pittsburgh Today
If you need help filing for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income in Pittsburgh, our team is here to help. We can help you file your claim or fight a denial.