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What must be submitted for an initial SSD claim?

The Social Security disability claims process can be complicated, especially when an initial claim is denied and an appeal is sought. It can be easy to get bogged down in these complexities and fail to see the big picture. This is a mistake, just as is lack of attention to detail, when filing a claim. Therefore, this week we briefly wanted to look at what is required to file an initial claim for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration.

First, an individual seeking SSD benefits will need to gather identifying documentation. This includes a birth certificate or proof of permanent legal resident status. An individual will also need to provide the names of family members, such as children under the age of 18 and spouses. Any documentation of military service and employment should also be submitted.

Once this basic information is taken care of, then a filer must gather and submit documentation illustrating the person's medical conditions. Typically, the SAA will want the names and contact information for any doctors who have seen the individual and assessed the medical condition, as well as a list of all medications being taken and their purpose. This step is critical, as missing important medical information can be the death knell for an initial claim.

But, the necessary information doesn't stop there. A claimant must also submit an employment history and documentation related to education and training. This will help the SAA determine whether or not a person has the requisite work history to qualify for benefits.

This is a lot of information to gather and submit. Errors can be made that lead to a delayed or denied claim. For this reason, many find it helpful to have help from an experienced Social Security disability attorney from the get-go.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application," accessed on July 18, 2016

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