You have to fill out a lot of forms when you apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
As a disability attorney who works with this every day for people in Wisconsin, I know these Social Security Disability forms well.
They are designed to help Social Security decide if you meet the qualifications to get disability benefits: that you cannot work any significant amount, in any job, for at least a year, because of your health problems.
In this blog post I’ll explain three of the most common and important forms Social Security requires when you file for disability benefits:
It’s important to get the information on these forms complete and correct, so you can increase your chances of being approved for benefits, get monthly income support, and a better situation for your own well-being.
Form SSA-3368, the Disability Report, is how you start your Social Security Disability claim.
The form covers your basic identifying information, but also asks for some of the key information needed to qualify for disability benefits:
Social Security could use Form 3368 to decide whether to ask you to see one of their doctors for a consultative medical examination.
If they look at the answers you provide and decide they’re going to need more information about your medical status, that’s when they’ll send you to this additional exam.
So when you complete Social Security Disability Form 3368, provide as much information as possible. The more details you provide, the more efficiently they can process your claim.
In virtually every case I have seen, Social Security requires a disability claimant to complete the Function Report, Form SSA-3373.
This is an eight-page questionnaire about your specific physical and mental limitations.
Like all the Social Security Disability forms, it’s important to thoroughly and accurately fill out this document.
In my years of practicing disability law, I routinely see two major mistakes people make on Form 3373:
1) Failing to put full effort into completing the form. If you do this, it may look like your health limitations aren’t severe enough to rule out working and make you eligible for disability benefits.
2) Exaggerating your health impairments. While you don’t want to understate the ways that bad health impacts your life, you do want to be honest. If you exaggerate, it could hurt your claim.
On rare occasions, I also see people who are applying for disability benefits flood the Function Report with a massive amount of information written in extremely small print.
While providing a lot of detail can be good, doing it this way is difficult for claims examiners to read, so not helpful to you. If you need more space, simply attach a blank sheet of paper to the back of the form.
If you have performed more than one job in the past 15 years, or you didn’t provide enough information about your work in the Disability Report (Form 3368, discussed above), Social Security will likely have you complete a Work History Report, Form SSA-3369.
Remember, getting Social Security Disability benefits isn’t only about your illness and how it makes you feel. It’s about whether you can work. Social Security reviews this in part by looking at the demands of your past work, and comparing that to your ailments.
Again, fill this out as thoroughly as possible.
Without question, one of the biggest mistakes I see Wisconsin workers make when they seek disability benefits is leaving incomplete information on the Work History Report.
You need to fully explain the duties of your recent and previous jobs. But don’t overstate the requirements of your jobs, either. Not being honest and accurate can backfire on your disability application.
In fact, I’m going to dedicate my next blog post to the Work History Report, how filling it out poorly can sink your Social Security Disability claim—and how you can avoid that.
Filling out forms for Social Security Disability benefits can be draining.
One of the best ways to get all of your Social Security Disability forms right, and make this whole effort easier on you, is to work with a Social Security Disability lawyer who can help.
I’ve gone through this process thousands of times. If you’re in Appleton, Green Bay, the Fox Valley, or anywhere in Northeast Wisconsin, I could serve as your guide.
Once you get through all these forms, you could finally get to greater financial security.
Written by Tim Geary.
Disclaimer: Blog entries are not intended to be a substitute for actual legal advice. It is important for a representative to understand the specific facts and circumstances of your case before they can provide you actual legal advice. If you have questions about your Social Security Disability benefits, please contact a qualified representative to discuss your case.
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