How to Apply for Social Security Disability in Iowa

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Posted by Corey Luedeman

To apply for Social Security Disability benefits in Iowa, you need to submit an application for benefits with the Social Security Administration.

If you are applying for SSDI benefits, you can schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office to complete the application, or you can complete the application online. If you are only applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you must complete the application with the local office.  You can do this by telephone or schedule an in-person appointment.

The application will request information about you. This information could include:

  • Your physical and/or mental impairments.
  • Any medical treatment you have received for these impairments.

    For each healthcare provider visited, give the name, address, phone, service dates, and tests ordered or done. You will also need to provide information about any and all medications you are taking.
  • Your family. The SSA will ask for your spouse’s information, including the marriage date and their Social Security number. They will also want to know any names of minor children.
  • Your education level.
  • Your employment history. For recent jobs (2 years), provide employer details, employment dates, and earnings. For jobs within 15 years, give title, date, and pay rate.

You may also need to provide banking information for direct deposit of Social Security Disability benefits.

Tips to Completing the Social Security Disability Benefits Application

  • Give complete information. The SSA will use the information you provide on your application to seek out additional evidence for your claim. If you do not provide as much information as possible, the SSA may not be able to find the evidence they seek – and therefore, your claim may be denied without this evidence.
  • Include in your application all of the medical conditions that interfere with your ability to work. While you may believe your inability to work may be related to one specific medical condition, the SSA will consider any medical condition that limits the type of work you can do. They will examine the combined impact these conditions have on your life and whether or not you can work. Therefore, you should provide information about any medical issue – old or new – that interferes with your ability to work.
  • Provide specific descriptions of your medical conditions and your limitations. Providing the SSA with specific numbers or examples from your daily life can paint a clearer picture of the limitations you face. For example, try to describe how many minutes you can sit, stand, or walk, how often you leave your home, what emotional triggers you have, or anything else related to your conditions.
  • Make sure you choose your onset date carefully. When you fill out your application, one of the questions will ask what date you became unable to work due to your disability. This is known as your “onset date.”

This date is important because it’s how the SSA determines when they should begin paying you benefits. If you suffered an injury on a specific day, it might be easy to know what your onset date is. However, if your medical condition has worsened over time, it might seem more challenging. The question you should ask yourself is “When did I stop being able to do my job because of this medical condition?”

Be aware that this date is often but not always the same as your last day at work. For example, if you stayed on payroll because you received sick leave, FMLA, or short-term disability, this may not count as work.

RSH Legal helps Iowans who have been denied disability benefits get the help they need. If you would like a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.

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