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The basic process of applying for Social Security Disability

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Social Security

Working professionals contribute to the Social Security program with every paycheck they earn. Employers withhold funds to send to Social Security every time they issue a paycheck. Small business owners and self-employed professionals have to make estimated tax payments quarterly that include Social Security contributions.

Some people end up claiming those contributions when they retire. They use their Social Security retirement benefits to supplement pensions or personal savings for better financial stability during their golden years.

For a tiny percentage of workers, Social Security benefits may become necessary long before retirement age. Those who develop debilitating medical issues may require Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. How can an applicant make a claim for SSDI benefits?

By gathering medical documentation

One of the most common reasons people face denied claims is a failure to provide adequate evidence about their medical conditions. Frequently, people make the mistake of assuming that a certain diagnosis is all they need to establish to qualify for SSDI benefits. A diagnosis alone usually isn’t sufficient.

Workers at the Social Security Administration (SSA) need medical proof establishing that a medical issue is severe. To qualify for SSDI benefits, a worker must be completely unable to work and must also have a condition that should last a year or longer. Proof of not just a diagnosis but of the functional impact the condition has is critical to the success of an SSDI application.

By submitting proper paperwork

The SSA only grants benefits to those who specifically apply for certain types of support. Workers have to submit a completed application online or on paper along with supplemental medical documentation to the SSA. Even small mistakes on the paperwork can be enough to warrant the rejection of an application.

By knowing when to appeal

Some people get approved for SSDI benefits right away after they apply. Others don’t submit enough medical evidence or make errors on the paperwork that require an appeal. By correcting paperwork and securing additional medical documentation, applicants can potentially obtain SSDI benefits after an initial rejection.

Those who need to appeal may find that process less intimidating if they already have an attorney available to help them throughout each stage of the appeals process. Although it can take a year or longer to get benefits through an appeal, those who prevail may receive backdated benefits. Securing assistance when applying for SSDI benefits can improve someone’s chances of success. Otherwise, someone already coping with a debilitating medical condition may find the SSDI application process to be overwhelming.