The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a medical or psychological condition. An individual must be unable to perform gainful employment, typically considered to be employment with greater than 20 hours per week or £650 in monthly income, and the condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months. Asthma is recognised as a condition that may potentially be severe enough to cause disability.
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Submit an application for Social Security benefits as soon as possible. The start date for payments begins on the date that your application is filed, and if approved, you will receive a back payment for all months prior to the approval date beginning on the application date. You may complete an application at your local SSA office, by phone (800-772-1213) or online at (see References). You will need a list of all medical providers with contact information, your employment and educational history and a listing of all medical conditions and prescription drugs for this application. You should receive a response within 30 to 90 days of the date the application is filed.
Compose and submit an appeal letter to your local SSA office if your initial application is denied. Approximately 60 to 70 per cent of applications are denied at this stage. The appeal letter must state your full legal name, Social Security number and reasons for the appeal. It must be submitted within 60 days of the date listed on your denial letter.
Consult with an attorney regarding possible representation for your disability case. An attorney can assist you with paperwork, gathering evidence and advocate on your behalf during hearings. Your representative cannot collect payment until the case is decided in your favour and may only collect £3,900 or 25 per cent of your back payment, whichever amount is less.
Gather supporting documentation, including records from medical providers and previous employers, for your appeals case. This documentation should be submitted to SSA at least 14 days prior to your appeals hearing. Attend this hearing with your attorney if you have one. If you receive a denial notice, proceed to Step 5.
Complete SSA Form HA-520, "Request for Review of Decision/Order of Administrative Law Judge," and submit it within 60 days of the date on your notice of denial. Continue to gather supporting documentation and submit it to the Appeals Council. This appeal involves the Appeals Council reviewing evidence and making a new decision based off of available evidence. You will not attend a hearing during this appeal. If you are denied benefits, proceed to Step 6.
Hire an attorney, if you do not already have one, and file a suit against SSA in federal district court. You must have an attorney for this appeal. You will be required to attend a hearing in district court. The decision made by the district judge is final.
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