Are you or a loved one suffering from a disease, illness or injury that’s expected to last longer than a year or prevents you from working and earning a suitable income? If so, you might be eligible to apply for disability benefits.
Did you know that one in every 19 Americans earns disability benefits? Being disabled can take a tough toll on your life, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to support yourself.
But, applying for disability can be stressful, time-consuming and downright confusing at times. So, where do you even start in the application process?
These four tips on how to apply for disability will break down the application process so you can start earning money as soon as possible.
1. What’s the First Step?
Lengthy application processes can be daunting, but talking to your doctor about applying for disability benefits is the first step you should take during this process. They can provide you with the medical documentation that you’ll need to prove your disability is preventing you from working.
Having the proper medical documentation and a written statement about the complexity of your disability will give you a leg up in the application process and reduce chances of your application being delayed.
Make sure to get documentation from all doctors involved with your health and obtain proof of hospital visits and test results.
2. Where Can I Apply?
The most convenient way to apply for disability benefits is to apply online. This is because you don’t have to make an appointment, you can apply from the comfort of your home and you can do it on your own time. All you have to do is fill out a secured benefits application on the official website for social security administration.
You can also apply by calling the social security’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. If you’re hard of hearing, you can call TTY 1-800-325-0778. And, of course, there’s the option to call and make an appointment at your local social security office.
3. How Long Does an Application Take to Process?
If your application is filed perfectly with all of the proper documentation and medical records, you could be approved within just five months. However, there is the possibility that the government will need more documentation or your application can even get lost in the system.
If you aren’t awarded disability within the first five months after submitting your application, don’t give up. You could be granted back pay on top of your monthly benefits, which is a sum of money that you can be awarded if your application wasn’t approved in a timely manner.
4. What Happens If I’m Denied Disability Benefits?
Fortunately, it’s not the end of the road if you’re denied disability benefits. You can file an appeal where you will be asked to submit updated medical records, doctors visits, test, and treatments.
If you feel as if your case needs legal attention, there’s always the option to hire a specialized SSI attorney to get you on the right track. You can learn more about if an SSI attorney is the right option for your case.
How to Apply for Disability
Don’t let a daunting disability benefits application keep you away from the money you need to support your livelihood. With a little patience, education, and determination, you could be earning money again before you know it. Instead of asking yourself how to apply for disability, start by taking the first step of talking to your doctor to get yourself on track for benefits.
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