Social Security Disability benefits may be warranted, but that doesn't mean the process is fast or easy. Experts warn that it can take months to apply and get a response initially, and it could take even longer if you're denied and have to appeal.
Does that sound daunting? It doesn't have to be. Here are a few tips that can help you during the process.
- Cut back on your spending as much as possible. Eliminate extra expenses. Remember, even if you deserve the payments, you may not see them for six months or longer. Don't deplete all of the savings that you have.
- Work with your doctor. It can help you tremendously to have a medical professional on board and willing to back up your claims.
- Obtain copies of your own medical records. Get all of the documentation you can to give your claims a bit more weight. It's one thing to say you're disabled; it's another to prove exactly when the injury occurred and how it limits you.
- Practice the application. The first one you fill out doesn't have to be the one you send in. Remember, a lot of people get rejected over very simple mistakes. You don't want to stall the process out because you forgot some basic information or left a critical box blank. Practice it and double-check the application before you submit it.
The process isn't meant to deter you from trying, but to ensure that those who really need and deserve benefits are those who get them. It's very important to know exactly what you should do through every step of that process.
Source: The Plain Dealer, "Applying for Social Security disability? Tips to increase your odds of success," Brie Zeltner, Jan. 14, 2018