Find how to get help in applying for and filing disability benefits.
Find agencies, companies, and suggestions that can help people apply for disability benefits. As anyone who has tried before knows the process is complicated and most applications are denied. It can take months to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance cash grants from the Social Security Administration. However, there are ways to get assistance in filing for disability.
There are government affiliated (or sponsored) agencies that can provide free advice to anyone seeking disability. The organizations give suggestions to the injured, anyone on (or leaving) FMLA, the sick and others. Some of the government organizations that may assist with a disability filing include community action agencies, local social service offices, charities, and even the SSA – Social Security Administration.
There are other companies that may help. They often take a fee, but it may be contingent. There are attorneys that assist with disability filings or the appeal of a denial, private companies that focus on offering this service, and even specialists with medical backgrounds. They organize medical records, involve a doctor if need be, and take other steps on the client’s behalf. All of them can help individuals (or patients) navigate the complicated process in applying for benefits.
While not as common, sometimes a doctor or local medical clinic may assist. While the centers may be an option, they do not help people as often when they file for disability as it is not the main service they focus on. Most doctors and other medical professionals have very little time as well, and that I another reason they may not assist. But asking them for suggestions and/or referrals may be beneficial.
Government help in applying for disability
This should be the first option to explore. There are local Social Security Field offices that offer free tips and information on how to get SSI or other disability. They are there to answer questions that you (or your doctor/medical professional) may have. They will review medical records from your doctor or expert, ensure the proper forms to file are completed and more. There are also forms that can be completed either at an SSA office or that can be completed online.
A Social Security Administration toll free number is also available to answer disability related questions. Customer serve representatives can offer information on the status of the application. They can also provide information on how to file for cash payments, or direct the caller to their local SSA office. If there is an emergency, the SSA office may also direct the applicant to a local disability grant for paying bills over the short term. That phone number is 1-800-772-1213.
There are several other non-profit as well as federal government funded places to ask for help in claiming SSI or SSDI. Try a community action agency. They have staff that provide advice on applying for, and understanding, the application process for many government benefits, including disability. Also inquire into a local human or social service office, the Salvation Army, or other places.
Private companies that assist with disability filings and claims
Note some (most) of these options may require fees and/or bills to be paid by the person seeking disability. All terms and conditions of any agreement should be reviewed closely. While there may be fees, they can often help people that have previously had their disability application rejected or that need to resubmit it. They can also help with the initially disability filing claim as well.
The services will vary. Some will review the applicant’s medical records to see if they may qualify. Others help by brining in their own medical professionals or experts for a second, third, or even fourth review of the application. Some of the options are as follows.
There are advocates as well as attorneys that can help people apply for disability with the Social Security Administration. They can assist with the initial application as well as appeal a denial. Most take a fee, and it is usually based on a contingency basis. This means that if the applicant receives a certain dollar amount of money from the government as part of SSI or SSDI, the advocate will take a percentage of that. This applies to any back-disability payments made. Read more disability advocates.
Another option is to try LSC - Legal Service Corporation. This is a nationwide, free program in which attorneys offer advice to the low-income seniors, disabled, and those who are struggling. While the initial (and some follow up) advice is free, there may be some minimal fees involved. Find how to get assistance from free lawyers as part of LSC.
Filing for disability from the Social Security Administration is complicated and can be a long drown out process. Many applications are rejected. But there are some ways to get help, as noted above. Anyone who needs assistance can explore one or more of the programs above to get support on the process.