Many disability applicants often remark about the confusing multitude of forms that the Social Security Administration (SSA) utilizes and requires during the disability application process. This is the second part of a three-part series explaining some of the forms used when applying for disability benefits. The forms are encoded with either an “SSA” or “HA” prefix, the latter standing for “hearings and appeals.”
The purpose of this brief summary is to provide some information and clarity regarding the forms utilized in filing a claim for disability benefits. An experienced disability attorney is important in helping applicants for disability benefits understand the purpose of every form used during the initial application process and thereafter.
- Appointment of Representative (SSA-1696-U4)
This is the form used to tell the SSA you are hiring a representative. Applicants desiring to have representation during the application process must sign and submit a written statement of appointment to the SSA. Although representatives may be non-attorneys, the regulatory fees are the same, and there are other differences. An attorney can file suit on your behalf if it comes to that- a non-attorney rep cannot file a lawuuit for you. it is strongly recommended that claimants retain a competent, knowledgeable and experienced disability attorney to assist in the filing of their application for disability benefits.
- Disability Report – Adult (SSA-3368-BK) & Disability Report Appeal (SSA-3441-BK)
The 3368 is the workhorse form for an initial disability claim. On this form you report why you are disabled, and identify your medical problems, your medical providers, your education and work history, your medications, etc. Getting this form right is important. The 3441 is an appellate form. It is used on Reconsideration and at the Hearing level. It is primarily an update style form, with the questions phrased “since you last completed a report” Changes and new impairments are reported, as is any return to work. Ultimately, these forms collect information regarding contacts, medical conditions, work activity, education, job training, medication, and medical treatment. The 3368 is an extensive form and often requires some considerable assistance to complete.
- Work History Report (SSA-3369-BK)
This form is used to describe a person’s work history. The SSA typically goes back 15 years from your date of disability to identify and classify your work history. In any disability case, once you have proved you have a severe medical impairment, a threshold question arises as to whether you can do your past work. The SSA cannot fairly answer this question unless you describe your past work- by job title, plus the exertional demands (sit/stand/walk, lifting, carrying…) and any job skills. This is not the place to fluff up your past work and list a stream of job duties to impress potential employers. Job skills can hurt here. So be both painfully honest and be accurate. If you got accommodations, state this fact! Errors can usually be fixed later on in the process, by why risk losing some credibility- get it right on the first pass.
- Adult Function Report (SSA-3373-BK) & Adult Third Party Function Report (SSA-3380)
These are hand numbing forms that have a series of questions which really concern how you go about your daily living. The forms go into painful detail. If you have modified your life as a result of your health problems, this is the place to explain in detail what you do to accommodate your illness or injury. Again, your hand will be sore from all the writing. Scan the form and type it in- it is easier and the SSA will read it!
- Medical and Job Worksheet – Adult (SSA-3381)
This form is used as an informational reference sheet by the applicant for an appointment, whether in-person or by telephone.
Stay tuned for part three!
One of the best ways to make sure you understand all of the forms associated with applying for disability benefits is to retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable, and qualified Social Security Disability attorney. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.