In 2016, 2.3 million people applied for disabled worker benefits, but only around 744,000 of those applicants were awarded benefits. That means that only about a third of applicants were actually approved for benefits, and if you factor in the 1.1-million-person waitlist and the 633-day average wait time for an appeals hearing, getting benefits seems like a daunting task. However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of not getting a denial.
Ways to Improve Your Disability Application
- You need to make sure that you qualify for SSDI before you send in an application. This means that you must suffer from an illness or injury that prevents you from working. That condition must be either terminal or be expected to last for over one year. You must also have paid payroll taxes for an average of 10 years before your claim, and those tax payments must have happened within the past five years.
- Gather your medical records before you apply for benefits. A delay in receiving your records could cause the Social Security Administration to rule on your case without those records. And if you haven’t painted a clear picture of how disabling your injury is, the administration is likely to deny your claim. Having your records together before your application ensures that the SSA won’t be forced to make a decision without having all the facts.
- Hire a disability attorney before you start the application process. An experienced attorney not only understands what the SSA is looking for on an application, but they also know who needs what information and when. An attorney can help you meet deadlines, and can make sure the proper person receives the information sent to them. Most importantly, if your application is denied, an attorney can help take you claim to the next level of processing, which may help reduce your wait time.
The SSDI application process may seem daunting, but there are people out there who can help. Don’t be afraid to contact a Tulsa disability attorney in order to get your benefits application on the right track. It could save you years of waiting in the long run.