Social Security disability benefits are a safety net for the American worker who has spent at least five of the last ten years working and paying federal payroll taxes. These benefits are paid for by your hard work, and you cannot claim them unless you have worked, paid into the system, and can no longer work due to illness or injury. However, the process for collecting the benefits can be long and complex. So, it is important that you get the process started right.
Things to Consider When Filing for Social Security Disability
- Make a Budget – If you have to file for SSDI, then you have probably lost your major source of income. Since it can take three to six months for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to get to your claim, you need to have a financial plan to last that long and beyond. Without a financial plan you could lose your savings, your car or even your home. So, budget carefully and be ready.
- Keep Your Health Insurance – Though health insurance seems like one of the first things you would want to cut when making a new budget—don’t cut it! For your application to the SSA, you will need lots of medical records about your condition. Having no medical insurance means that it could be difficult to get the doctor’s visits you need to make sure you have these records.
- Collect Your Records – You are going to need employment records to prove you qualify for disability benefits. You are going to need medical records to prove you have a condition expected to last 12 months or that could result in your death. You may even need financial records to help prove you qualify. Considering that the slightest missed deadline can result in months or even years of waiting, having these records around could go a long way.
Get Help – The process of claiming disability benefits from the Social Security Administration can be a long-complicated process. The slightest mistake on a form could set you back years. Misstating an aspect of your case could lead to a denial. Disability attorneys have experience with the process. They know how each form should be filled out, and they know which mistakes people make that get their benefit claims denied. Get help up front. It could save you years of trouble.