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The process of applying for disability benefits has become much easier due to expert organization at the Department of Social Security. Whether you use the telephone, the website, or visit your local Social Security office, you will find everything you are looking for easily, due to a thorough, posted listing of departments and topics.
First and foremost, remember that patience is a virtue. There are many individuals who frequent the Social Security office for applications for lost Social Security cards, retirement benefits and due to one's inability to work. When contacting them, have your Social Security number and notebook handy, and write down who helped you and what date and time you called or visited. The application is very long and can be picked up at their local office, or sent to you in the mail.
It is much easier to take it home to complete it and take it back to turn it in, if you can get the time. Once completed, make a copy of all pages for your own records. Regarding your doctor's bills and letters: keep the originals and mail the copies, or vice versa ONLY IF they absolutely require originals. You will need them again.
It is possible to obtain any x-rays you may have had done just for the asking, as it was you or your insurance company that paid for them. Most times, you will have to physically visit the office to sign a release form to get them. The doctor or hospital keeps a copy of the x-ray report in your record. Simply follow instructions on the Social Security application while filling it out, step by step, and be sure to double-check that you did not miss anything. One missed answer can add on processing time. Allow at least eight to twelve weeks for them to receive your application, to review it, and for them to get a letter regarding your status back out to you, unless your local office tells you it will be longer. Follow up with the person you submitted it to if you haven't heard anything after the suggested amount of waiting time. Be aware; the process has taken two to three years for many applicants. If there are any major changes to your health in the meantime, notify your Social Security office regarding the changes. Any errors could cost you many months of added waiting time.