Applying for disability benefits can appear difficult for the common disabled individual. The Social Security Administration is currently implementing a program making the entire process an online operation, so it is important to first access the information needed by reviewing the application with an individual who is experienced with online activity. The purpose of moving to a complete online application process benefits both the administration and the potential claimant. However, there are still several ways to make the whole ordeal easier.
1. Preview the Application
One of the best ways to lessen the perceived burden of applying for benefits is to access the blank application and to make a list of the needed information. Having the proper information at hand can make the process quicker when actually providing the information requested. It’s important to understand that mistakes on the original application can be difficult to change at a later date and any errors can create delays in the determination by the disability board. The government has 60 days to decide, so ensuring the information is accurate can be crucial to approval timing.
2. Research the Determination Process
The initial determination of an application is provided by the disability determinations board of the applicant’s home state. There are two levels of disability benefits. Valid disability claims are assessed by the applicant’s Social Security tax deduction records and qualification is made by the number of earned quarters in the previous ten-year period. A quarter is a three-month work period in which the applicant has made in excess of a minimum amount. This information can also be accessed or requested through the Social Security Administration official website.
3. Review the Qualification Rules
It is important to understand that Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income based on a disability are not the same award and the rules for qualification are different. Investigate the parameters of each program. All qualifications will require documented medical evidence from healthcare professionals, so review the rules of legal disability assumption and submit the proper documents personally, if needed. The doctor’s diagnosis is very important.
4. Learn the Difference Between SSI and SSD
Supplemental Security Income disability awards are approved when the applicant has validly demonstrated to the state board that they are in fact legally disabled. These benefits can begin immediately when qualified, but the board still has 60 days to make an initial decision. Social Security Disability can be a much more difficult approval process and typically requires an attorney. The six-month period of inability to work does not necessarily apply to SSI as it does to SSD, but be aware of the differences before applying.
5. Ask a Trusted Individual to Help
Having a personal reference who has already been through the process can be an advantage. Providing the wrong information can actually result in a denial based on inaccurate information. Two heads are better than one when protecting against application errors.
6. Consult an Attorney
Technically, an attorney cannot be retained until a claim has been denied, but they can help from the beginning because they understand the process professionally. According to www.disabilitydenials.com, “most Social Security Disability claims are denied during the first two stages of the appeal process. Your chances of winning your claim are greatly increased by having a Board Certified Social Security Disability Attorney represent you.” It is standard protocol.
Applying for a disability award can be a frustrating experience, but it is important to be patient and let the professionals complete the system cycle properly. Always appeal a denial if an attorney advises that you have a valid claim. Initial consultations with an attorney are free by law and the attorney must take the case on contingency until the award payment.
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