Some individuals may qualify for disability benefits on their or even their spouse’s record. In today’s blog, we will discuss the eligibility requirements for applying for disability benefits and the information required to complete an application. Keep reading to learn more about how you might prepare to apply for disability benefits in the state.
Applying for Disability Benefits
Who Is Eligible?
Individuals can apply for disability benefits in Ohio if they:
- are age 18 or older;
- are not currently receiving benefits on their own Social Security record;
- are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death; and
- have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days.
To apply for benefits, individuals must print and review the Adult Disability Checklist. It will also help to gather the necessary information and documents to complete the application, which we will go into more detail below. Applicants must also complete the Disability Benefit Application and complete the Medical Release Form.
To complete the application, individuals should prepare the following basic information:
- their date and place of birth and Social Security number;
- the name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of their current spouse and any former spouse (be aware that they should know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death if appropriate);
- names and dates of birth of their minor children;
- their bank or other financial institution's Routing Transit Number and the account number if they want the benefits electronically deposited.
Applications should also provide information about their medical condition:
- name, address, and phone number of someone the department can contact who knows about the applicant’s medical conditions and can help with their application;
- detailed information about their medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions (names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics);
- names of medicines the individual is taking and who prescribed them; and
- names and dates of medical tests they have had and who sent them.
Applicants should also be ready to provide further documents showing that they are eligible, such as:
- birth certificate or other proof of birth;
- proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if they were not born in the United States;
- U.S. military discharge paper(s) if they had military service before 1968;
- W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year;
- medical evidence already in their possession as mentioned above, including medical records, doctors' reports, and recent test results; and
- award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers' compensation-type benefits they received.
Work information will also be critical components of the application, such as the amount of money the applicant earned last year and the current year, as well as the name and address of their employer for the two years. Applicants should also provide a copy of their Social Security statement, as well as a list of up to 5 jobs that they had in the 15 years before they became unable to work and the dates they worked those jobs. If individuals served in the military before 1968, they must list the beginning and ending dates of their active dates.
The application will further inquire about any workers' compensation, black lung, and/or similar benefits the individual filed or intend to file for. These benefits could be temporary or permanent in nature, include annuities and lump sum payments received in the past, and be paid by their employer’s insurance carrier, private agencies, or government agencies. These public agencies could likely be referred to as:
- Workers' Compensation;
- Black Lung Benefits;
- Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation;
- Civil Service (Disability) Retirement;
- Federal Employees' Retirement;
- Federal Employees' Compensation;
- state or local government disability insurance benefits; or
- disability benefits from the military (including military retirement pensions based on disability but not Veterans' Administration benefits).
Eligible individuals can apply by mailing in their documents and application, but there are more convenient benefits to applying online. The online disability application process allows individuals to:
- start their disability claim immediately (no need to wait for an appointment);
- apply from the convenience of their own home or on any computer;
- stop and return to their saved application at their convenience throughout the process before submission;
- avoid trips to a Social Security office;
- complete the process online even if they live outside the United States.
After an individual’s online application is received individuals should expect a confirmation of their application either electronically or by mail. The department will contact the applicant if they need more information or documentation. They will also inform individuals if other family members may be able to receive benefits on their record, or if the applicant may be able to receive benefits on another person’s record, such as their spouse or their parent. The final decision on the application will be mailed to the applicant.
Let Bridges, Jillisky, Streng, Weller & Gullifer, LLC Help!
If you or a loved one are interested in applying for disability benefits or have questions about your eligibility, speak with an attorney immediately for legal guidance. Our team at Bridges, Jillisky, Streng, Weller & Gullifer, LLC can provide you the support and advice you might need to apply for disability benefits in Ohio.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.