If you plan to file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will want to know as much about your injury or illness as possible.
The forms to fill out contain many questions, most of which are easy to answer. However, be sure to provide full details on questions that refer directly to your disability and how it affects your ability to work.
About the forms
If you wish to file a claim for SSDI, you will fill out two forms: SSA-16-BK and SSA-3368-BK. The latter entitled “Statement of Claimant” provides almost a full page for you to enter remarks about your injury or illness. However, Form SSA-16-BK has 28 questions and here you will provide information in more detail. An advocate can help you complete these forms.
Date of onset
One of the most important pieces of information to provide is the date of onset of the condition that prevents you from working. For example, if you sustained an injury in a fall on a construction site or as the result of a vehicle accident, the date of onset is clear. However, if your condition developed over time, you may have to construct a timeline to determine the date. Your medical provider can help with this. The date of onset of your injury or illness helps the SSA calculate the retroactive benefits or “back pay” for which you qualify.
Factors the SSA considers
The SSA considers several factors when determining benefits, such as your age, educational background, work history and how much you have paid into Social Security over the course of your career. In the event the SSA denies your initial application, the next step is an appeal.