What Is a Social Security Disability Interview?

When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) schedules an in-person or telephone interview. The Social Security disability interview allows the SSA to gather additional information about your disability to make a decision regarding your claim.

The First Step Is To File an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits 

If you become disabled or you cannot work because of a disability, you could be entitled to government disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two programs for persons with disabilities.

The first program is SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). It pays individuals who become disabled and cannot work because of their disability. The disabling condition does not need to arise from a work-related injury or workplace accident

The second program is SSI (Supplemental Security Income). This program provides monthly payments to individuals who cannot work because of a disability. Applicants must have resources and income below the set financial limits to qualify for SSI benefits. 

Both programs require you to meet the definition of disabled from the SSA. Being disabled for Social Security disability means:

  • Your disabling condition prevents you from working; AND 
  • It has lasted for 12 months or will last for more than 12 months; OR
  • Is expected to result in your death.

You can apply for SSI or SSDI by submitting your application online or visiting your local Social Security office. You can also call the SSA and apply over the telephone with a representative. 

Completing the application online may be convenient. However, you do not have any help. When you schedule a telephone or in-person appointment to apply, an SSA representative can answer questions to help you avoid errors that could delay your application or result in a denial of benefits. 

What Do You Need To Know About a Social Security Disability Interview?

An SSA representative contacts you to schedule a telephone or in-person interview. If you have not hired a Harrisburg Social Security Disability, you might consider hiring one now. A study by the Government Accounting Office reports people represented by a personal injury lawyer are three times more likely to have a disability claim approved. 

However, you are not required to hire a lawyer before a Social Security disability interview. You are not required to prepare for the interview. That said, a lack of preparation can significantly decrease your chance of being approved for Social Security disability. 

What Information Do I Need To Bring to the Social Security Disability Interview?

The representative might instruct you to bring specific documents to the interview. You might also receive a letter instructing you to bring specific items.

Items you want to have with you and prepared in advance of the interview include:

  • Your government-issued driver’s license or other picture identification
  • Your birth certificate and Social Security card, if you have them
  • Complete list of all medical conditions, including onset or diagnosis date
  • Date your disabilities became so severe you could not work
  • The date you last were able to work
  • Your work history for the past 15 years
  • Names, addresses, and contact numbers for all medical providers, including treatment dates
  • List of all current medications and the exact dosage for each medication
  • Prior medical tests, including the date and location of the test

The representative will also confirm your marital status, children, military service, income, and resources. If you apply for SSI, you must also provide information for your bank accounts, insurance policies, real estate owned, and vehicles owned.

The interviewer may ask questions about your living situation, including who lives in the home with you. They also need to know all sources of income for you and your spouse if you are married. 

Tips for Attending a Social Security Disability Interview 

The interviewer gathers as much information as possible so the SSA can evaluate your claim to determine if your disability qualifies for SSI or SSDI. It is essential that you always tell the truth and make it clear that you want to work, but your condition prevents you from doing so.

When discussing your disability and medical conditions, do not exaggerate your symptoms. Instead, clearly identify your disability by the medical term and describe the symptoms and consequences of the condition. 

Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions to provide realistic answers. For example, the interviewer might ask for your pain level most days. If you say “10 all day and night,” you will not appear credible. You would be in the hospital if your pain level remained at 10 all the time.

Instead, consider how you feel in the morning versus at bedtime or when you are standing or sitting for long periods. Try to provide precise answers with details to back up your answers. 

What Happens After a Social Security Disability Interview?

The interviewer submits your claim to a claims examiner for review. The claims examiner assesses your condition to determine if it meets the SSA’s definition of disability. They also determine whether your condition prevents you from engaging in any type of work. 

The assessor continues to gather information and documentation from medical providers. You might receive requests from the examiner, including questionnaires to complete. You might also be required to attend and submit to an independent medical examination (IME).

At any time, you can contact a Harrisburg Social Security disability lawyer. An attorney completes and files documents for you, obtains copies of medical records, monitors deadlines, and provides guidance throughout the process.

If you’ve been injured in a social security disability, contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 995-8998

Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Carlisle Law Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Lancaster Law Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Lebanon Law Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon, PA 17042-1140
(717) 995-8963