What to Expect at Your Social Security Disability Interview
Our federal Social Security programs provide crucial medical and monetary benefits to millions of Americans, whether in the form of a guaranteed retirement income, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With the latter two programs, applicants will have to provide sufficient evidence to show they meet the needed requirements, and this will include participating in a Social Security disability interview.
Understandably, people can get quite nervous and concerned about this interview due to its importance, but working with a Social Security disability benefits attorney can help you better understand this process so you know what to expect.
If you’d like to learn more about this and speak with a qualified lawyer, call us at the Rushing Law Firm, PLLC. From our offices in El Dorado, Arkansas, we’re able to serve clients in Magnolia, Camden, Crossett, Union County, Columbia County, Ashley County, and Ouachita County.
The Social Security Disability Interview
When you first make a Social Security disability claim, you’ll be asked to provide several pieces of medical documentation as well as personal information about you and your family. This could include:
Medical records from any healthcare facility you’ve been seen at, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics
Test and lab results that relate to your disability
Contact information for your medical providers
List of all the medications you’re taking, including dosages
Your Social Security number
Recent W2s or tax returns
Your work history, including contact information of employers
Proof of marriage, if applicable
After your initial application has been reviewed, you’ll be asked to come in for an interview to gather more information and verify the existing information that you’ve already submitted. This is a standard practice, but even so, it can bring up a lot of stress in applicants. It’s not intended as a “gotcha” moment, but rather, to ensure that the SSA funds are going to the right recipients. Preparing for your Social Security disability interview is an excellent way to alleviate anxiety and ensure you know what to expect.
What Happens at a Social Security Disability Interview?
Interviews are done either in person at your local Social Security office or over the phone. In either case, the general process will remain the same. The evaluator you meet with is trying to determine whether your disability meets the requirements for SSDI or SSI benefits. To do this, they will ask you a number of questions about your personal history as well as your health history. Specifically, they will want to know how your disability has been affecting your life and your ability to earn a paycheck.
It’s essential that you don’t miss this interview. If you believe you’ll have trouble making it, you should let the SSA know about this right away as they can often offer help with transportation.
Preparing for the Interview
Steps to take:
One key step you can take to help yourself during this process is hiring an experienced lawyer who can help you prepare and address any issues that come up along the way.
Organize all your documentation before the interview happens so you have everything on hand and know where to find information.
Always answer honestly but don’t downplay your symptoms.
Only answer the questions you’re asked and don’t volunteer information.
When did your disability first become noticeable?
What type of treatment have you undergone to address it?
How has your disability affected your ability to work?
What is your work history?
What are your current resources and income? (for SSI applicants)
What to bring to a Social Security disability interview:
All medical records that pertain to your disability
Your ID and Social Security card
Contact information for your medical providers
Contact information for your past and current (if applicable) employers
Workers’ compensation information
Information about your family, including marriage or divorce certificates and birth certificates for any children
After the Interview
Once the interview is completed, the evaluator may double-confirm some basic information before they submit your claim to the Arkansas claims examiner. It can then take several months to receive your final determination. If your claim is denied and you believe they made a mistake in your evaluation, you should contact your attorney to begin the appeals process.
Dependable Legal Guidance
If you’ve recently started applying for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income and would like to meet with an attorney to help prepare for your interview, reach out to our team at the Rushing Law Firm, PLLC in El Dorado, Arkansas. We’re committed to serving all our clients in a non-judgmental, collaborative environment with a focus on educating people so they can make informed decisions about their lives. Give us a call today to get started.