How to Apply for a Disabled Placard in Minnesota
How to File for Disability in Minnesota
Minnesota residents who are disabled might qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both. The application process is easy, but don’t be surprised if you’re initially denied. Most people who successfully obtain benefits must go through a hearing process, and you should have a lawyer help you.
Check if you qualify for disability benefits.Not everyone who is disabled will qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration's (SSA) impairment listing manual, also called their blue book, lists a number of impairments, both physical and mental, that will automatically qualify an individual for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Check that you meet the following requirements:
- Your disability prevents you from doing work you have done before as well as other meaningful work.
- Your disability is projected to last for more than a year or result in your death.
- You must have earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. You can check your Social Security statement.
- Your income must be low enough to qualify for SSI, as it is meant for only low-income individuals. You may qualify for both SSDI and SSI, but you'll need to provide pay stubs or proof of income, bank statements, insurance policies, and investment income documents, if you have any.
Gather medical information.The Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to look at your medical information. If possible, gather the records yourself from every treating physician or hospital. SSA can also request the records for you, which will slow down their review process. Provide SSA with the following information:
- The names and contact information for every doctor, clinic, or hospital that has treated you.
- The dates of your examination.
- Your patient ID numbers.
- The names and dates of any medical tests you have had.
- The names of medications you have been prescribed.
- Any information about medical exams taken as part of a workers’ compensation claim.
Write down your work history.SSA will analyze your work history to see if you might be able to do different work. If you can, then you can’t qualify for disability benefits. Write down the following information:
- The job titles you have had over the past 15 years.
- The dates you worked those jobs.
- A description of the job duties you performed in those jobs.
- The date your medical condition began to impact your ability to do the job.
Collect financial documents.Unlike SSDI, SSI has income guidelines. You can qualify for both programs, but you’ll need to provide financial information to show SSA. Collect the following information:
- The name of your current employer.
- Proof of income for the past two years, such as your tax return, W-2 Form, etc.
- Proof of self-employment income for the past two years.
- Your bank account information, including account type and routing number.
Applying for Disability Benefits
Complete an online application.Visit the SSA website at and complete the application. You can also apply for SSI at the same time if you are between 18 and 65, never been married, and have never applied for or received SSI before.
Apply in person instead.It might be easier to schedule an appointment with an SSA office. You can get all of your questions answered and also apply for SSDI/SSI at the same time. Find a list of offices in Minnesota at . Enter your zip code. You should bring the following items to your appointment:
- Medical records
- Workers compensation paperwork
- Names and dates of birth of household members
- Dates of marriages and divorces
- Bank account information
- Contact information for a reference
- Medical release Form SSA-827 if applicable
- Completed "Medical and Job Worksheet - Adult"
Apply over the phone if you prefer.Another option is to call 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing. Call Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Applying over the phone makes sense if a field office is too far away.
Undergo any required medical exams.SSA might need more medical information before they can process your claim. If necessary, they might ask you to have a physical exam or undergo different tests. You should speak to an attorney if you don’t want to take any medical exams.
Receive the results.Your state’s office will send you the results. It generally takes three or four months for a decision to be made. Don’t be surprised if you are denied. About 65-70% of all claims are denied initially.
Appealing a Denial
Ask for reconsideration.If you’re denied, your first appeal is to ask for reconsideration. Your denial notice should tell you how to make your request. Generally, you’ll call the office where you started your claim and ask for the paperwork to be sent to you.Complete this paperwork within 60 days of receiving notice.
- You’ll receive a decision with 30-60 days.
- The vast majority of requests for reconsideration are denied.
Schedule a hearing.You also have the right to a hearing before an administrative law judge. Read your denial of reconsideration letter to see how you request your hearing. You only have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to make the request, so don’t delay.
- Most people who get approved for disability benefits win them at the hearing stage, so it’s important to request a hearing. Courts approve an average of 50% of disability cases that they hear, so appealing can increase your chances of receiving benefits.
- You’ll probably have to wait about a year in Minnesota for your hearing. However, if you win, you’ll receive benefits retroactive to the date you became disabled (called “backpay”).
Hire a lawyer to help you.A lawyer will help you build the strongest case possible for the hearing. Visit the Minnesota Bar Association website to find a qualified disability attorney: .
- Disability attorneys represent clients on contingency, which means they don’t get paid unless you win. Federal law prevents disability attorneys from collecting more than 25% of your backpay, up to ,000.
- You might have to cover some costs, such as copying or paying for records, but they shouldn’t total more than a couple hundred dollars.
Video: Social Security Disability Mn
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