Tips for SSD Adult Starter Kit 2020

filing social security disability claim

Adult Disability Starter Kit for SSD Benefits

If you are totally disabled due to an illness or injury and have paid Social Security taxes for five of the last 10 years, you may qualify to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, many people who apply for SSD benefits receive initial denial notices and give up. Sometimes applicants make mistakes, but often it is the bureaucratic system that works against the disabled taxpayer.

At Kraft & Associates, P.C., our SSD attorneys help disabled residents of the Dallas area at all stages of the SSD application process. We can assist you with an initial application for benefits. We often handle appeals for people whose claims have been denied. We can file a reconsideration of a denied claim and represent you at a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge.

Call the Dallas Social Security Disability Lawyers

Our Dallas SSD attorneys prefer to handle a Social Security Disability claim from the start. We can take care of all the work necessary to file a claim and make sure your claim is not delayed by an incomplete application. The Social Security Administration has posted its Adult Disability Starter Kit online to assist people seeking benefits.

General Tips for the SSD Adult Starter Kit

Below, we have some general information about how to work your way through the SSD starter kit and your benefits application. A knowledgeable SSD attorney is available to discuss your claim and answer your questions about your specific situation if you contact us. Contact a Dallas Social Security Disability lawyer at Kraft & Associates, P.C., for assistance now.

What is the Adult Starter Kit for SSD Benefits?

The Social Security disability starter kit for adults contains general information about the disability programs and provides an overview of the decision-making process for disability claims. It can help take some of the mystery out of applying for disability benefits. There is a separate kit for disabled children under age 18.

The adult starter kit provides:

  • Fact sheet that answers 10 common questions that many people ask about applying for disability benefits.
  • Checklists of documents and information that the SSA requires at your interview or when you file an application online. One lists 7 items for an interview and the other lists 13 items needed to file online.
  • Worksheet to help you gather and organize the information required. The Medical and Job Worksheet – Adult asks for information in 7 categories related to your job history and medical diagnosis, doctors and medicines.

True to its name, the kit is just the start of the potentially long journey to obtaining SSD benefits. The information you gather on the worksheet must ultimately go on an Adult Disability Report.

Interviewing with the Social Security Administration Office

The interview with the Social Security Administration, which is a review of the report, is often a key to obtaining benefits. It requires preparation and an understanding of what the claims analyst needs to hear from you as well as what could hurt your claim.

How to Pass the Adult Disability Report

The information you provide on the 14-page Adult Disability Report is used along with the follow-up interview by the SSA claim evaluator to decide your disability claim. You should take the time to complete the report as accurately and completely as you can.

Some of the information required may take some time to gather, such as specific information about your medical conditions, tests, and treatment, including doctor and facility names. You also must submit a work history, including the jobs that you held in the 15 years before you became disabled, including your job title, rate of pay, start and end dates, hours worked and days of the week worked.

Here are some tips for filling out the various sections of this form:

  • Medical Conditions (Section 3). List each and every medical or mental problem you have. Use additional paper if necessary. Explain how each condition limits your ability to work. Often, a person with several medical conditions will be approved for disability benefits even if none of their individual medical conditions would have qualified.
  • Work Activity (Section 4). Explain how your disability affected your ability to work and what restrictions it placed on you. Don’t exaggerate, but don’t downplay the limitations your disability has caused either.
  • Job History (Section 6). List the jobs you have held during the past 15 years, starting with the most recent and working your way back. Failure to disclose the jobs you have held can result in denial of your claim. Use a separate sheet of paper if you have had more than six jobs in the past 15 years. You will also be asked for details about the type of work you performed, such as the time spent standing, stooping, kneeling, and the amount of weight you lifted and carried as part of your job duties. The SSA itself says it helps to consult a Social Security Disability benefits lawyer regarding how you should phrase your answers.
  • Medicines (Section 7). List all medications you take, whether prescription or over the counter. Don’t leave anything out.
  • Medical Treatment (Section 8). List all medical and mental health professionals you are seeing or have seen. You need to make sure the names of people and institutions are correct. If you’re unsure of anything, contact your health care provider and ask.
  • Remarks (Section 11). Don’t leave this area blank. Explain how you have been disabled by your medical condition(s). Add any information not already provided that may be pertinent to your disability claim. This is where an experienced SSD benefits attorney can help you properly state your case.

You can get information for your Disability Report from medical records, employment records, and other sources. But the SSA says you should not have your doctor fill out any of it. The SSA has other forms it will require your doctor to fill out on your behalf.

What to Say at Your SSA Disability Report Interview

At an SSA Disability Report interview, a Social Security representative will interview you and complete an application for disability benefits based on the Adult Disability Report. If your report is not complete, and you bring along the information it requires, the representative should help you complete it. You can schedule an interview at a local Social Security office or do it by telephone. It will take at least an hour.

By law, Social Security has a very strict definition of disability in regard to qualifying for SSD benefits. To be found disabled:

  • You must be unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last at least 1 year, or be expected to result in your death.

What the SSA seeks to determine is whether your medical condition is truly disabling. You cannot get disability benefits solely because your doctor says you are disabled.

The Social Security Administration maintains a catalogue of medical impairments and medical criteria that apply to the evaluation of whether an SSD applicant should be certified as having each impairment. The listings, including separate lists for adults and children, are known as the Blue Book.

At your interview, you should:

  • Answer each question to the best of your ability.
  • Never exaggerate your medical problems, but never minimize them either.
  • Provide all relevant details and specific examples as you answer questions.

How Kraft & Associates, P.C., Can Help with Your SSD Starter Kit

If an attorney with Kraft & Associates, P.C., is representing you, we will help you gather and organize the information requested, accompany you to the interview and help you provide all the necessary details of your medical condition.

If the worker evaluating your claim matches your medical condition to a medical impairment listed in the Blue Book, your claim for benefits should be approved. If you haven’t been diagnosed with an impairment in the Blue Booklist, you must provide the interviewer with medical evidence that your injury or illness incapacitates you in a manner similar to a recognized impairment.

Regardless of the medical evidence you provide, it is up to a Social Security Administration SSD claim evaluator to decide whether to approve your application. As your disability benefits attorneys, we can help ensure that your application is complete and accurate so that it makes the best available case for the award of benefits to you.

Contact Our Dallas Social Security Disability Lawyers

The team at Kraft & Associates, P.C., in Dallas, Texas, can assist and stand with you as you seek to obtain Social Security Disability benefits that federal law makes available to workers who have become disabled. It is a complicated process. But our attorneys know the process and have helped Dallas and Fort Worth area residents pursue disability benefits for more than 45 years.

No matter where you are in the process of seeking SSD benefits – preparing an application, responding to an initial denial, or requesting a formal hearing – our attorneys can help you present the strongest case for benefits. Contact us today for a free discussion of your claim.