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Self-Help Guide: Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits (Part 5 of 5)

Part Five: Seize the Opportunity to Present Your Case (Page 3 of 3)


Updated June 03, 2014


§ Section 4 - Information About Your Medical Records

This is where you get a big payback for the time you spent keeping records and gathering information as suggested in (PART 3 - Get Organized) of this guide. Get out your records and business cards and fill out this section. Numbers of all kinds:

  • chart numbers
  • HMO membership numbers
  • phone numbers, etc.

Help the DDS to get medical reports more quickly, so be especially careful to include them. If any source has a fax number, write it on the form somewhere near their phone number. For each doctor you list, include the medical specialty even though there's no pre-printed space for it. Put it right after his/her name.

§ Section 5 - Medications

Get out the medicine bottles! They contain the name of the medication and the name of the doctor who prescribed it. If you aren't sure why you are taking a particular medication, call the office of the doctor who prescribed it and find out. Usually the nurse will be able to tell you. If you're having side effects from a medication, you'll know what they are! If no side effects, answer "none". Don't forget to list your medications that are not in pill form such as:

  • inhalers
  • injections
  • IV's

If you have to continue this section in remarks, write "see remarks" and then in Section 9 write "Section 5 - Medications" and list the rest of your medications. You don't want the DDS to miss anything!

§ Section 6 - Tests

All the required information should be in the records (See PART 3 - Get Organized) you've been keeping.

§ Section 7 - Education / Training Information

This section is self-explanatory.

§ Section 8 - Vocational Rehabilitation Information

Most of us would rather be working than on disability. There are some wonderful vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs, and if you're interested in being evaluated for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, answer yes to Question B.

§ Section 9 - Remarks

As stated before, use this section for any additional explanations or remarks. You don't want the DDS to miss anything.

Review Your Information

After you have finished, review all the information on your work copy for completeness and accuracy and make any corrections. Read the paragraphs you wrote about your work and condition and make any changes. Even if you like what you've done, get a good night's sleep and read it again. If you're still pleased, it's time to wrap up this project.

Finally - Copy to Your Original Disability Report

Copy the information from your work copy to the original Disability Report. Then read it to make sure you copied everything accurately. Don't sign or date it until after your appointment with Social Security.

Put your completed Disability Report and all the other papers and evidence you've gathered in one place to await your trip to the Social Security office.

During your appointment, you'll be asked to sign your Disability Report and read and sign the Application the Claims Representative fills out for you. Once SSA has your signed application, you will have applied for SSDI benefits, and you will have done your best to present your case!

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits - A 5 Part Self-Help Guide

  About the author: Janie Laubscher was directly involved in the Social Security disability claims process throughout her 25-year career with the Social Security Administration. As a Claims Representative, she helped applicants complete their applications for SSDI benefits, and as a manager, she oversaw the entire disability process in her offices. She also worked as a disability determination specialist for the agency in her state that makes disability decisions for Social Security. In that position, she made the disability decision on initial SSDI claims.

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