The federal government provides both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance for California residents suffering a disability that cause them to be unable to work. Successful applications for these benefits require meeting one of the primary medical requirements and providing many types of documentation and references. In some straightforward cases, an individual can file the necessary paperwork entirely online to receive SSD benefits.

The primary rule of eligibility is that Social Security Disability claims must follow a disabling condition that prevents the person from working. The condition must be documented over a one-year period or must be likely to cause the claimant’s death. A large number of documents must be collected and filed with the agency, including personal information, income statements and any discharge information for former military.

The crux of SSD benefits claims is the proof of disability. People who are seeking benefits will need to have access to their medical records, results of any workers’ compensation investigations and employment history going back 15 years. The claimant will also need a reference who may be contacted to discuss the disabling condition. With all this information in hand, the claimant can seek disability benefits by applying online, in person or over the phone.

Though the collection of information may seem daunting, overall the process of requesting SSD benefits appears simple. Problems come in when documentation is difficult to gather or spotty, the disability is not widely recognized in the medical community or the agency has denied Social Security Disability benefits. In these cases, it may be helpful to have an attorney with knowledge of medical requirements and federal regulations be involved in the process.