Illinois residents who qualify as disabled and who cannot work full-time are often able to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Unfortunately, demonstrating to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you qualify for benefits is a difficult process. To ensure that you are not unfairly denied benefits due to a filing error, you should retain a Chicago Social Security disability benefits attorney who can walk you through the filing process.
Reviewing SSDI Requirements Before Submitting Your Claim
Before applicants can begin receiving SSDI benefits, they must be able to prove that they qualify. One of the most important qualifications is that an applicantâ€™s disability falls under the SSAâ€™s definition, which means that:
- He or she cannot fulfill his or her regular job duties because of the disability;
- The disability has lasted for or will last for at least a year or will result in his or her death; and
- The condition is named on the SSAâ€™s list of disabilities or his or her diagnosis is as severe as at least one of the illnesses or disabilities contained on the list.
These eligibility requirements are not always easy to apply, so applicants seeking SSDI benefits are encouraged to carefully review them before submitting their claim. This also ensures that claimants are able to collect the medical evidence necessary to demonstrate the severity of a disability to the SSA.
Claimants are much more likely to be approved for SSDI benefits if they receive an official diagnosis from a medical professional, as the SSA will not be convinced by a mere list of symptoms. Obtaining treatment and seeing a doctor regularly can also go a long way when it comes to proving that a condition is actually considered a disability by the SSA. It will also be necessary to provide the treating physicianâ€™s contact information, as well as proof of the dates of treatment, the names of all prescribed medications, and records of diagnostic tests and lab results.
Retaining Work History Records
Disabled applicants can only begin receiving benefits if they can pass two earnings requirements tests, which help determine whether a person paid taxes for long enough to justify providing that individual with benefits. This in turn requires the submission of a series of work history documents, including federal tax returns, W-2 forms, and a summary of all places of employment over the last decade. Finally, the SSA will need evidence that a claimantâ€™s gross monthly income doesnâ€™t exceed a certain threshold, which can be established through the submission of pay stubs, payroll slips, home mortgage records, checking account numbers, bank books, and insurance policies. Having these copies on hand can speed up the review process, so applicants can begin receiving benefits as soon as possible after filing.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney
For help filing your own claim for SSDI benefits, please call dedicated Chicago attorney James R. Comerford at The Comerford Law Office, LLC. A member of our legal team can be reached by calling 312-863-8572 or via online message.