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What is the Social Security disability starter kit?

Navigating the Social Security disability landscape can be challenging and overwhelming, especially for those who have no experience with the system. In an attempt to make the claims process easier, the Social Security Administration provides starter kits. These kits contain many items to help a disabled individual initiate his or her claim, and it is a great way to familiarize oneself with the process and applicable law.

A starter kit contains a fact sheet that provides valuable information on topics such as the length of time it takes to receive a claim determination and what can be done to speed up the claims process. This sheet also breaks down, on a very basic level, how claims determinations are made.

Also included in the starter kit are checklists of information and documentation that will be needed to submit a claim and to qualify for SSD benefits. This includes medical records, workers' compensation information (if applicable), as well as contact and banking information.

Lastly, a starter kit includes a worksheet, which is essentially an application. It allows an individual to notate his or her medical conditions, sources of treatment, as well as medications being taken. An individual can also list any medical tests that have been performed. This information will help the SSA better assess an individual's claim and follow up if more information is needed.

Though a Social Security disability starter kit is a great way to obtain a basic understanding of the system and begin the information gathering process, it does not explain the most persuasive ways in which to present one's claim. For assistance with this, and with increasing one's chances of success, a disabled individual may want to speak with an experienced attorney.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Starter Kit," accessed on Aug. 22, 2016

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