The Social Security Administration reported receiving almost 1.8 million applications for Social Security Disability benefits in 2022. Securing SSDI can be a lifeline for individuals facing health challenges that hinder their ability to work.
However, the application process can be complex, and not having all the requested documents can add an extra layer of stress. If you find yourself in this situation, there are steps available to ensure a smoother process.
Know the required documents
Before you apply, it is a good idea to understand what documents the SSA requires. You will need to have documentation that proves your identity, such as a birth certificate and Social Security card. You also must provide banking information and documents to prove your work history and earnings. Finally, you must provide medical records as evidence of your disability.
Declare you are missing documents
When you lack specific documents, be upfront about it. In your application, provide a detailed explanation of why you could not furnish the requested paperwork. Clearly communicate any efforts made to obtain the documents and specify if they are temporarily unavailable or entirely unattainable.
Keep moving forward
You should be proactive in obtaining documents. Do not give up if you reach a dead end. Explore substitutes for requested documents you do not have. In addition, recognize that missing documents should not translate to missed deadlines. Submit your application on time, and respond to any communications you receive from the SSA.
Note that the SSA is willing to assist you with securing documents you may have been unable to get on your own. The agency specifically tells individuals to not put off applying for benefits due to a lack of documentation.