If you believe you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, the first step you must take is to apply for those benefits. You will need to fill out an “Initial Application for Benefits” with the Social Security Administration in order to begin the process.
Generally speaking, we recommend that you take this first step on your own. If you are approved for benefits immediately after you apply, there is no reason for an attorney to be involved. The application may seem intimidating, but most people are able to answer the application questions without much difficulty. The application simply provides information for Social Security on your case.
Some of the information you will be asked to provide for your SSDI application:
RSH Legal offers a free guide book with some tips on how to complete a Social Security application, including a checklist of things to collect before you start the application and then suggestions on how to answer key questions during the application process. You can order our free Law Guide to Iowa Social Security Disability Claims by filling out the form on this page.
Once you have gathered all of the information you need, you have two options:
However, if your health has more gradually declined over a period of time, it might be more difficult to figure out a specific date. In that situation, it will make more sense to put down the last day you worked or the day you made changes to your work routine. The date you settle on needs to be related to when you became unable to work. Do keep in mind that this date can be changed later in your case if it needs to be.
Once you’ve submitted your application, Social Security may evaluate your case by:
You should receive your first decision from Social Security within two to four months. If you receive a denial notice, call our office at 1-800-433-0283. We will be able to tell you what your next steps should be.
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