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What is a "Disability Starter Kit"?

Many of our Los Angeles readers have found themselves in this situation: they are suffering from a life-altering injury or illness that leaves them disabled, their inability to work is causing extreme hardship on their family and they are looking for answers. After exhausting all options, many people will turn to Social Security Disability.

However, coming to the realization that applying for SSD benefits may be part of the solution is only the first step. There are many more steps to complete before monthly benefits actually start to arrive. After contacting the Social Security Administration, many people are told to expect to receive a "starter kit." That, in turn, leaves some people thinking, "What exactly is a Disability Starter Kit?"

The SSA knows that the people who are getting ready to apply to receive SSD benefits have a lot of questions. The agency knows that most people need to be walked through the process of applying step by step. As a result, the agency developed the starter kit to help anyone who is new to the process of applying for SSD benefits.

The starter kit has three important documents: a fact sheet, a checklist and a worksheet. The fact sheet includes most of the important information an applicant will need to know about the process and about their continuing duties after being approved. The checklist is a handy document that helps applicants keep track of what they need to gather to make sure they have everything before moving forward. Lastly, the worksheet will help an applicant prepare for their interview regarding their application for benefits. This helps an applicant work through the questions that will be asked so that they can formulate their responses accordingly.

Source: ssa.gov, "Adult Disability Starter Kit," accessed on Nov. 1, 2014

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