SSDI attorney meeting with client

Documentation Requirements for SSDI Benefits – What to Know When Applying

One of the most common reasons people get denied when they apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) wants more documentation from them. Every time the SSA sends your paperwork back to you for more documents or denies your benefits claim because of insufficient documentation, the longer your benefits get delayed.

It could help if you knew the documentation requirements for SSDI benefits, and what to know when applying for the benefits you need when you cannot work because of a disability. A Michigan SSDI Attorney could help you prepare your SSDI benefits application so that you have all the documentation that SSA will require.

Birth Certificate or Other Proof of Birth

The SSA will need to know where you were born, the date of your birth, and your Social Security number. If you are currently married or ever were married, you will have to include your current and any former spouse’s name, Social Security number, and date of birth. Also, be sure to include the dates and places of each marriage and the dates of divorce or death, if applicable. 

People do not automatically qualify for SSDI benefits merely because they now live in the United States. If you were not born in the United States, you will need to provide documents that prove your United States citizenship or lawful alien status.

U.S. Military Discharge Papers

If you served in the military before 1968, you will need to submit your military discharge papers with your application for SSDI benefits to show your eligibility.

Last Year’s Tax Returns or W-2’s

If you were employed during the last tax year, you must submit your W-2 forms. Self-employed people need to submit their self-employment tax returns for the previous year.

Worker’s Compensation Benefits

Whether you received any temporary or permanent worker’s compensation-type benefits, you will need to include your award letters, pay stubs, redemption or settlement agreements, or any other proof of the benefits you received.

Medical Records

The SSA can obtain many of your doctor, hospital, and other medical records if you sign a records release authorization, but it could help if you submit the medical evidence you already have in your possession. You will want to include recent test results, reports from your doctors, and other medical records that you have on hand when you file your SSDI application.

Can I Submit Copies, or Do I Have to Send Originals?

Some things, like your birth certificate, if requested, will have to be the original documents. You can usually obtain an official “original” copy of your birth certificate by contacting the department of vital records of the state where you were born. The SSA returns original documents after processing applications.

Most other documents, like medical records, self-employment tax returns, and your W-2 forms, do not have to be originals. You can submit scans or photocopies of those papers. 

When you mail documents to the SSA, you have to include your Social Security number inside the packet of documents so that the SSA can connect them with the correct application. You should not write your Social Security number or anything else on any original documents. Instead, write your Social Security number on a separate piece of paper and put it inside the envelope in which you mail your documents.

A Michigan SSDI Attorney can help you with your SSDI benefits application or denial of benefits. Contact our office today for legal assistance, we offer a free consultation and disability is all we do.