How Caregivers Can Help Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Caregivers Can Help Apply - Social Security Disability Benefits

If you are caring for a loved one, a spouse, or a friend that is sick and can’t work you can help your loved one, spouse, or friend apply for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security disability benefits are designed to help people who are sick and can’t work. The money from these benefits can be used to pay for housing, mortgage, food, bills, and other living expenses while that person is sick and can’t work. Many people don’t think they are eligible for disability benefits so they don’t apply. But the only requirement that must be met to file a claim is that the person expects they will be unable to work for at least 12 months. And if they can’t fill out the application themselves you can help them.

Medically Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

A person must medically qualify in order to be approved for disability benefits. In order to qualify that person needs to have a medical condition that is listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, and that person must provide medical documentation that meets the criteria in the Blue Book listing. As a caregiver you can help the person that you care for gather all the medical documentation that they will need to prove their claim.

If you don’t have legal Power of Attorney for that person you will need a signed waiver in order to access their medical records or request official copies. Make sure that you get plenty of official copies of that waiver because you will need to give a copy to your loved one’s doctor, the hospital, and many other places so that you can request and receive medical records for that person.

For example, if your loved one has had a TBI and can’t request their medical records you will need to present that signed and notarized waiver to the doctor to get copies of that person’s medical records. Then you will need to present another copy to the hospital to get copies of that person’s medical bills. And you might have to present a third copy to the test facility to get copies of test results. You will need a lot of copies.

Medical Vocational Allowance

If your loved one’s condition doesn’t meet the criteria set in the Blue Book but that person still can’t work because of their medical problems they can still qualify for benefits through a Medical Vocational Allowance. To get this allowance you will need to check the box asking for a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation on the disability benefits claim form.

The SSA will perform the evaluation to find out if there is any kind of work that your loved one can do with their condition and with the skills that they already have. If they determine that your loved one cannot do any kind of work then they will approve the claim for benefits even if your loved one doesn’t fit the blue Book requirements.

The Application Process

The application process can be confusing, especially when you’re completing the application for a loved one. The best thing to do is make an appointment at your local Social Security Administration office. Bring copies of all of your loved one’s medical records and paperwork with you. A staff member from the SSA will sit down with you and help you fill out the application and answer your questions. That way you will be sure the application was filled out and submitted correctly.

Resources:

Apply for Social Security Disability: https://www.disabilitybenefitscenter.org/caregiver

Next Monitoring Alert Systems: https://nextmonitoring.com/store2/

SSA’s Blue Book: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm

Medical Vocational Allowance: https://www.disabilitybenefitscenter.org/glossary/medical-vocational-allowance

Local SSA Office: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

2019-10-15T18:05:50+00:00