An interview is required to receive Social Security benefits in Baltimore. After a claim is filed, a social security representative will contact the claimant to schedule an interview. Interviews can be conducted face-to-face or over the phone. Interviews take approximately one hour if the applicant is prepared. This fact is an incentive to do the work of preparation.
Keep in mind, the interview is simply a fact-finding mission. The claims representative from SSA will ask a series of questions to gather information with which to make a decision regarding the case. Questions will relate to work history, medical condition and history, military involvement, marital status, number of children, and workers compensation claims.
To prepare, SSA encourages claimants to begin the application process online which aids in quicker interviews. In doing so, the applicant will gather information and paperwork vital to a disability decision. This data will also be useful for the interview. While the task can be daunting, enlisting the help of an advocate or qualified person eases the stress. Furthermore, keep in mind that truthful and forthright information provides a solid foundation for a disability case.
After submitting the application, the gathering of additional details and paperwork to support the interview begins. This list of useful documents includes medical records, workers compensation records and recent W2 forms. Knowing the following information is essential: birthdates and social security numbers of the spouse and children, marriage and divorce dates, bank account numbers, names of and contact details for medical professionals as well as previous and current employers. See a full Adult Disability Interview Checklist at ssa.gov for detailed information on what to bring. (If you are applying for a child, SSA also offers a Childhood Disability Interview Checklist.)
Processing disability claims in Baltimore can be an overwhelming and lengthy process. A legal advocate can assist in this process and provide reassurance to applicants preparing for the interview. Also, an applicant has a right to have a legal representative or qualified person of his or her choice present during the interview.