More than 2 million Americans apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Yet, only 37% of these first-time applicants get approved. It’s undeniable that Social Security benefits are essential, but the application process is daunting.
It wouldn’t be surprising for a claimant to receive the benefits several years or months after application. Worse still, you might never get approved! If you’re filing for Social Security, you need to make better preparations to get approved.
Applying for Social Security Disability is like a job! You have to get the right people, material, and time. Here are 9 tips to help you get approved sooner.
- Confirm Your Eligibility
Are you eligible for Social Security Disability benefits? Having a chronic illness doesn’t guarantee your approval. Some details go into determining whether one qualifies for SSD benefits.
Before delving into the overwhelming process of filing for Social Security Disability benefits, establish eligibility. The Social Security Administration has defined what a disability is.
Disability, according to SSA, is an impairment or a condition that lasts more than 12 months, or death in extreme cases. A person should also be in the retirement age to be eligible. You should also prove you have been up to date with FICA tax payment for the last five years.
- Get It Right From the Onset
You’ll have your claim denied if there are inconsistencies with the information you’re providing. It is crucial to gather your medical records before filing a claim. The U.S. Social Security Administration might use the records to have an idea of your condition through the process.
It would also help to have documents that prove you’ve been receiving medical care regularly. The medical records will be useful in determining the seriousness of your condition. Your doctor’s report will also have significant impacts on your claim!
You need to have your physician filling out the residual functional capacity document to provide details of your condition and the prognosis. Your SSDI application should have all these records from the start.
- Be Honest
Getting Social Security Disability benefits isn’t always easy. It is tempting to lie or exaggerate about a condition to convince the SSA to approve your claim. Unfortunately, dishonesty when filing for Social Security Disability benefits will get you out faster than you can imagine.
If you can work, don’t forge the inability to work during the Consultative Exam. The professional in charge of the test has access to your medical records, and they can discern when you’re exaggerating the condition. Being true to yourself, the Social Security Administration, and your doctor will make the process seamless and relaxed.
It is crucial to assess your condition in the most honest way. Note any challenges brought about by your condition. If your situation isn’t dire, your chances of getting Social Security Disability will be limited.
- Keep a Journal
You’re likely to forget some of your experiences when filing for SSD. As such, it would help to have a journal detailing your everyday experience with a disability. Have a dated journal where you note down the illness, pain, and impacts on your life.
The journal should include the things you have been unable to do due to the disability. Journal the time, date, and events related to the disability. While at it, include the situations that are likely to trigger the pain and how your body responds to the medications given.
Sufficient information provides the presiding judge with enough details to determine if you’re eligible for SSDI. It is, therefore, vital to be descriptive as much as possible. Give a vivid explanation of how the injury is preventing you from working without deviating from the truth.
- Be Proactive While Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits
Did you know that more than 60% of aging adults manage two or more chronic illnesses? Old age comes with a host of other health conditions. Whether or not you have a medical condition, it would be best to start thinking about SSD as disabilities or chronic conditions are common with old age.
You should familiarize yourself with the process of filing for Social Security Disability benefits. Start by checking the SSA website. If you already have a known condition, check it out on the Blue Book for comprehensive information on the requirements when applying for the benefits.
You might want to practice the application way before the actual filing for SSD. Download the printable version and familiarize yourself with some of the questions you’re likely to encounter. With the information on your fingertips, you won’t have to worry about inconsistencies in your assessment.
Keep seeing your doctor for any existing condition. The unbroken medical history, when applying for SSD, will be a lifesaver. The records will show the severity of the condition during the assessment.
- Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits Should Be Timely
You need to apply for SSD as soon as you can. Delays can drain your retirement funds and savings. If you have a condition that’s impeding your work, apply for the Social Security Disability benefits immediately.
The process is undeniably daunting. You’ll be confused about the right time to make your claim. Instead of hovering over the idea, apply, and wait for the results.
Since you’ll need to prove your claim, consider talking to your doctor about filing for SSD benefits. You’ll get the proper medical records to push your application. Submitting your application earlier gives you adequate time to get the results that will determine the next move.
Note that you don’t need to have a permanent disability for you to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. As long as the condition has made you unable to work for about 12 months, you’re still eligible. The SSA might dismiss your claim as your condition improves.
- Check the Status of Your Claim Regularly
The Social Security Administration often provide updates to applicants. However, it is still crucial to check your SSDI’s status to be sure of the progress.
A 2019 survey found out that 26% of young workers are more likely to have a disability before getting to their full retirement age. This reality has prompted many people to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Considering that SSA is dealing with millions of applications, mix-ups and mistakes are common.
Checking your disability claim’s status allows you to recognize any misplaced or lost documents. You’ll have timely updates on the progress of your claim. Consequently, you’ll be better placed to know how you can hasten the process.
You can check the status of your claim on the SSA website. Alternatively, call the local SSA office. Checking your status once every thirty days is enough unless there’s a situation making you check more times in a month.
- Reduce Your Expenses
People often make a mistake of overspending as they are certain the funds they expect to get will be sufficient. Cases of losing your retirement funds, savings, and homes are common as people wait for the benefits. This shouldn’t be you!
It would help to have a backup plan as you wait to get your rightful compensation. When filing for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to know that the response is hardly immediately. If anything, you might wait for the approval for months or even years.
Don’t discontinue crucial expenses such as your medical insurance. The medical evidence will be an essential part of your claim process. You can opt for free healthcare centers if you can’t keep up with the expenses.
- Hire an Attorney
Social Security Disability claims are not appealing processes. You’ll face frustrations that might make you want to quit. It would help to work with attorneys who work with social security disability claimants.
If you’re unsatisfied with the outcome, get legal assistance to help you apply for benefits. An attorney will assist you in appealing the decision if you feel you’re eligible for the benefits. Hopefully, you’ll win the case and get the rightful compensation.
The good thing about these attorneys is that their fees are contingency-based. This means that your lawyer will only get a percentage of the benefits you’ll receive after the process. Therefore, your lawyer is more likely to show commitment to the case as the payments will depend on the case’s outcome.
Working with a lawyer will help you rest easy. You won’t have to struggle to look for documents that prove your situation is dire. Your lawyer will do everything on your behalf!
Filing for Social Security Disability Insurance Does Not Guarantee You Approval
Filing for SSD is one of the most daunting processes you’ll have to deal with as a senior person. Worse still, you might never get the SSA approval. The process is quite engaging, and the approval far from easy.
However, these tips can make the process less hectic. They will further increase your chances of success when filing for Social Security Disability benefits. If everything seems complex, it’s probably time to hire a lawyer!
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