Information on this page:
Forms Needed for a Disability Claim
Beginning a disability claim can be daunting for most people. You have a disability that prevents you from working and earning a living but to receive benefits, you must convince a disability specialist of that fact. Should your application be denied, you are facing reconsideration, and as many as three appeals. Your only other alternative would be to simply give up on getting the benefits you need and deserve—and for most people, this is not an option.
You may either be filling out your forms online or requesting the forms from a DDS specialist and filling out paper forms. You will be asked about your day-to-day ability to function, details regarding your specific medical condition, your work history, who lives in your home with you—and much, much more. When you begin your application, you may immediately notice the many different forms necessary to apply for disability. The forms needed for a disability claim include:
- Form SSA-16-BK (Application for Disability Insurance Benefits) will ask for information regarding your medical conditions, birth and citizenship, veteran status, employment status, family history, and work and earnings history.
- Form SSA-3368-BK (Adult Disability Report) is an eleven-page document that requires much more detailed information regarding your work history, medical condition, and earnings history, asking for other individuals who have specific knowledge of your disabling condition. You will need contact information from at least one person and will be asked about any changes you have been required to make in your job due to your disabilities. Your birthdate and contact numbers are required for this form, as well as your education and training. You will need your job history for the last 15 years, including up to the last five jobs you had during that period of time. Any medications you take—including name, frequency, and dosage, will be required as well as all treatments received for your disabling condition. There is a remarks section on the Adult Disability Report that will allow you to add any other relevant issues that will help SSA evaluate your eligibility. Add any supporting documentation—the more accurate and complete this report is, the better chance you will have of having your benefits approved.
- SSA-3369-BK (Work History Report) deals exclusively with your past work history. If you have had more than five jobs within the past fifteen years, you can include this information. The Work History Report will ask for details about your duties at each job, your education, wages, and job training, and how your disabling condition impacts your ability to complete your current job duties.
- SSA-827-BK (Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA)
Questions Asked on the Forms:
Some of the questions you will be asked (this is not an exhaustive list) include:
- Have you ever filed for SSD benefits, SSI, or Medicare?
- Were you in the military service prior to 1968?
- Have you ever used a different SS number?
- Did you or your spouse ever work for the Railroad Service?
- Are you qualified for or do you expect to receive a pension annuity from the Federal Government, or state or local government?
- Have you earned SS credits from another country’s SS system?
- Are you currently married? (You will also need to provide your current spouse’s name, date of birth, and SS number as well as the same information for former spouses)
- What are the dates and places of each marriage, and when did each marriage end?
- Do you have or have you had a child under the age of 3 living with you during a year when you had no earnings?
- What are the names of your children under the age of 18 (or age 18-19 and in elementary or secondary school, or disabled before the age of 22)?
- Do you have a parent who was dependent on you for at least half of their support at the time you became disabled?
- Have you had earnings every year since 1978?
- Do you have any unsatisfied felony or arrest warrants for flight to avoid prosecution, escape from custody, or flight escape?
In addition to the above forms, you will also need to provide the following documents:
- If you served in the military prior to 1968, you will need U.S. military discharge papers (original papers)
- Self-employment tax returns or W-2s will be required for the prior year (copies allowed)
- Your birth certificate (must be an original)
- If you were not born in the United States, you will need proof of lawful alien status or U.S. citizenship (original papers)
- All medical evidence you already have in your possession, including doctor’s reports, medical records, and any medical test results. (copies are allowed)
- Proof of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits (copies allowed)
Will My Attorney Complete the Disability Claim Forms for Me?
While your SSD attorney from Carmichael Law Group can assist you in filling out the seemingly endless mountain of forms, we can’t do it for you. Unfortunately, the forms necessary to apply for SSD benefits really need to be filled out by the person needing the benefits. Your attorney does not have the level of knowledge about you, your family, your work, your education, etc. that is necessary to complete these forms.
While it will certainly take some time for you to complete all the forms and gather all the paperwork, never lose sight of your goal. The more comprehensively you fill out your forms, the more details you provide, and the more supporting evidence you include, the more likely you are to be approved for SSD benefits. For each job you list, make sure you provide the level of physical exertion the job required. How much standing, walking, crawling, lifting, bending, or other physical exertion did the job require?
And remember—even if your job is relatively sedentary, don’t overlook the physical exertion you did while on the job. As an example, perhaps you had to put away boxes of paper, or move the copy machine to get behind it and remove jammed paper. You may have been responsible for buying coffee and other supplies for the break room, carrying in bags of groceries. So, even if your physical exertion didn’t occur every day, almost all of us have some level of physical exertion in our jobs.
Could My SSD Claim Be Denied Because I Skipped a Form—or Made a Mistake on a Form?
Some of the most common reasons for an SSD application being denied have to do with missing information, missing forms, or incorrect information. It’s common to leave a question accidentally unanswered, provided inaccurate or incomplete information, or forget a form altogether. This can either cause delays in a decision for your SSD benefits or can result in an outright denial. Make sure every single question is answered—completely. If a specific question is not relevant to your situation, mark it as N/A (not applicable) rather than just skipping the question.
Disability claims can be won or lost on medical evidence, making it crucial that you provide as much medical documentation for your disabling condition as possible. Include every healthcare provider you have seen—even if it does not seem relevant. Along with your primary disabling condition, include any other medical conditions that could conceivably contribute to your inability to work and make a living.
Mistakes are often made on the Work History Report which asks that you list all the full-time jobs for the past 15 years, describing the physical demands and duties of each job. Make sure you include lots of details on this form. Especially for those over 50 for whom Grid rules apply the Work History Report is even more important. If you are 50 or older, there are special rules that take into account your age, education, past work experience, and the ability to adjust to other jobs that could be less physically demanding.
If you realize after the fact that you have made a mistake on your application that was not corrected before it was submitted—or if you simply want to provide clarification, you can contact your local SS office by phone or in-person to have your mistake corrected. Once your application and all forms are filled out and you have attached supporting information, an experienced SS lawyer from Carmichael Law Group can look it over to ensure it is complete. Any potential errors can be caught in advance, improving your chances of success.
Issues on Your SSD Forms that Can Derail Your Application for Benefits
Some of the most common mistakes made on SSD forms that can result in delays or denials, include the following:
- Including Jobs from More Than 15 Years Ago—The Social Security Administration will look at your employment from the past 15 years. While it might seem like a good idea to add your work history from further back, this tactic could backfire. SSA is looking at your work history to determine whether you were on the job long enough to learn how to perform the job-related duties, and whether you earned “substantial” income at the job. Including job information farther back than fifteen years could give SSA the idea that you could do a type of work you did many years ago despite your disability. So, stick to the facts—and to the last 15 years.
- Incorrectly Reporting Duration, Hours, or Pay of a Past Job—Perhaps you worked at one job only part-time, but for a couple of weeks you filled in for a co-worker, working 40 hours per week. You are in a hurry as you fill out your work history and accidentally put that you worked full-time at that job. This could cause confusion, making the SSA think you are able to do the tasks you did during that “full-time” job.
- Understating the Physical Demands of Past Jobs—In general, if you are over 50 and your application falls under Grid rules and the more physically demanding your past work, the more likely you are to have your SSD application approved. Be as specific as you possibly can regarding the duties you performed at each of your jobs, as well as detailing the physical demands for each job. This information will be matched up with a job listed in the DOT (Dictionary of Occupational Titles). If you are not specific enough about your duties and physical demands, the DDS specialist could inadvertently match your job with a job that is actually much easier—thus triggering a denial. In other words, perhaps you accidentally checked the box that indicates the maximum weight you lifted at your job was 15 pounds—when it was actually 40. DDS would then find your past work falls under light-duty work, concluding that even with your back injury you should still be able to do light-duty work. Take your time with your application. Think long and hard about your previous job duties, the most difficult parts of the job(s), and any duties that were difficult for you.
How a Carmichael Law Group Attorney Can Help You with SSD Forms and Reports
As noted above, while your attorney from Carmichael Law Group cannot actually fill out your Social Security Disability forms for you, we can look over them to ensure they are complete and accurate. The forms needed for a disability claim can seem impossible to complete. Set aside some time to fill out the forms and do it in a quiet place without distractions. You simply cannot risk missed deadlines or incomplete paperwork when seeking SSD benefits.
The highly experienced attorneys at Carmichael Law Group are skilled in every aspect of SSD benefits. We are nationwide SSD lawyers—we can help you no matter where you live in the U.S. We can represent you before the Administrative Law Judge hearing, or at subsequent appeals, however, the sooner we are on your case, the more likely you will have a positive outcome—in the form of an approval for SSD benefits. Contact Carmichael Law Group today.