What Type of Questions Will Be Asked for Your Disability Application?
Social Security needs to collect a significant amount of information from you to begin the process of determining your eligibility for disability. If you file an online application, most of this information will be provided in writing. If you are unable to file an online application or prefer not to do so, Social Security should collect the information by telephone interview or perhaps in person (at least in pre-Covid times). This will set the foundation for your claim. It establishes the reasons you think you are disabled, points Social Security to where to get the information to prove it, and is where you begin to establish credibility.
Your chances of being approved for Social Security Disability benefits are increased by hiring an attorney that focuses on social security law.
The Interview Questions
You will need to answer questions in three different categories: Personal Information, Medical Treatment History, and Work History Evaluation. It helps to have this information collected before you start the online filing or before having a disability interview with a Social Security representative.
- Marital Status
- Dependents or Children Under 19
- Living Arrangements
- Military Service
If you are also applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will also be asked about your personal financial information. Even if you have filed your application online, Social Security will contact you directly to collect this information.
- Bank Accounts
- Vehicle Information
- Insurance Policies
- Real Estate/Land Ownership
- Other Assets
Medical Treatment History
Your medical treatment information is needed for at least 12 months before the date of the onset of your disability. Selecting the date of disability onset (when your medical conditions became so severe as to prevent substantial and gainful work) is important and will tell Social Security how far back to request medical records (usually 12 months before). The following information will be needed.
- The date that your conditions became disabling
- Doctors’ Names
- Doctors’ Addresses
- Dates of Treatment
- All Medications
- All Medical Testing Information
Work History Evaluation
You will be asked about your work history, for up to the last fifteen years prior to your onset of disability. The questions will be focused on the type of work you have done and the physical requirements of each job (lbs. lifted, time standing/walking and sitting, etc…). You’ll also be asked for dates, employer locations, and perhaps contact information of your previous employers.
Tips for Your Interview
At this initial stage of your application, SSA is merely on a fact-finding mission. Social Security’s claim representatives at the local offices are not there to give opinions or make judgments about your case. However, there are several things you can do to help this initial fact-gathering step of your application go well.
- Be respectful when interacting with Social Security.
- Dress appropriately for an in-person interview.
- Tell the truth. Do not exaggerate your answers.
- Be specific. Don’t be vague with answers. Give straightforward, factual answers.
- Be clear and concise.
- Don’t focus on issues not related to proving disability. For example, not being able to find a job or a bad economy is not evidence of disability.
Hiring an attorney prior to applying can improve your chances of approval. An experienced and knowledgeable professional can guide you and help you avoid mistakes in the process. If you are local to the Northern Ohio area and have questions about applying for Social Security Disability benefits, the team at Roose & Ressler Law Firm would be happy to set up a free consultation to review your case.