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How to Apply for Social Security

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How to apply for social security is often a concern for those with disability. Understanding the whole process requires knowing what social security is. For those who are not familiar with it, it is an insurance and welfare program that usually gives benefits to the disabled, elderly and the unemployed. Various countries have social security programs of their own, which are aimed at ensuring that citizens who cannot work because of economic or physical circumstances can live reasonably well.

When you apply for social security, know that it will take a lot of time, effort and patience. Whether the disability benefits you are applying for will come from the Veterans Administration, the Social Security Administration or a private insurance agency, expect it to be a long process.

With the Veterans Administration, there are benefits that can be claimed by veterans who are disabled. However, you will not be able to get anything if you have been discharged from the service dishonorably. If your disability is related to the service, which means that you sustained the illness or injury while on active duty or you have an existing condition, which was aggravated to disability due to active duty, you can be sure of getting compensation from the Veterans Administration. The amount ranges from 117 dollars to 3,000 dollars a month, depending on the kind and severity of your disability.

To apply for a disability award, you need to complete VA Form 21-526, which is an application for pension or compensation. It would be wise if you could provide the Veterans Administration your hospital and doctor’s records as well as those of your dependents. These would include your marriage records and the birth certificates of your children and spouse. You can also apply and receive medical care benefits from the Veterans Administration.

If you are going to apply for social security disability or supplemental security income or SSI, you can do so in person, online by way of, or by phone. Once you have completed the initial application process and have submitted all the required evidence to prove your claim, you may have to wait for a few months before getting a reply, which is typically “No”. However, this should not deter you from getting your compensation and take the next step, which is reconsideration.
Once you completed all the required forms for reconsideration, the SSA will reconsider your case. Usually around eighty percent of applicants are denied at this stage. But once you have exhausted all your options for the first couple of stages, you can then make an appeal. You will come to a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge together with your chosen disability lawyer.

If you have more evidence to submit, you need to have it with you. As much as possible, you should maintain your silence and let your lawyer argue the case for you. You can trust him to do his best to win the case since he will only be paid if he succeeds in making a claim. This is usually a fourth of your total back pay but not exceeding 5,300 dollars.

When it comes to private insurance firms, they automatically assume that you are not really disabled as you claim, and will deny you even from the beginning of the disability application. In addition, insurance companies have a tendency to distort the meaning of disability. If you are going to apply for long-term disability, you can obtain the application form from your employer. Short-term applications usually come from the insurance provider directly.

No matter what organization you are applying for social security benefits, you should always be careful. Learn everything you can, and know what you should and should not say. You should also know what they are expecting from you in order to make yourself qualified for disability benefits. Not knowing what to do will be detrimental to you and unless you have a cut and dry case, it will not be accomplished quickly so try to relax and be patient with your application.

The eligibility criteria for disability vary according to the jurisdiction you are in but majority of them have something in common. In most territories, eligibility for disability benefits has some basic requirements. For example, the applicant must be a citizen of the country where he is applying. The reason is that majority of disability programs are funded through taxes that are levied on income and other transactions of a country’s citizens. Thus, a citizen of a particular country may contribute to the social security system for his whole working life. Many jurisdictions believe that it is but fair that people who have contributed to the system should be the ones to enjoy its benefits.

Another very common eligibility criterion for disability benefits is age. In many countries, a welfare program includes services that were designed to aid old people who can no longer work competitively against younger workers. In these territories, a given age is used to determine whether an individual is eligible for social security retirement benefits or not. Other programs can be based on the kind of industry a person came from and what age he will be retiring. As an example, workers in the United States that came from the railway industry have a social security program through the railroad retirement benefits. However, the income and benefits that a worker may get can change according to his age when he retires.