If you count yourself among those who have an injury or disability severe enough to keep you from re-entering the workforce, you may be considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Whether you are ultimately eligible for SSDI benefits depends on several factors, among them your previous tax contributions and work history, but if you are able to obtain them, they may help you get by in the absence of employment income.
The SSDI benefit system is frequently misunderstood, however, and there are many myths and misconceptions that surround it. The more you understand the system and application process, the better your chances of receiving approval for your SSDI benefits claim. So, before you file your SSDI benefits claim, know that:
You may need more than your doctor’s word
While having your doctor attest that you do, in fact, have a debilitating, long-term disability that prevents you from working is certainly important, recognize that your doctor’s word does not necessarily mean that you will have your claim approved right off the bat. The more documentation you can gather about your condition, the better, so track all your treatments and medical visits with extreme care to improve your chance of an approval.
You may need to reapply periodically
Many people mistakenly assume that once you gain approval for SSDI benefits, you are set up to receive them for the duration of your life. This is sometimes, but not always, the case. Typically, the SSA will conduct a review of your condition every so often to ensure that your disability is still severe enough to warrant SSDI benefits.
Severe, work-related disabilities are not uncommon
While you may think severe, long-term disabilities are rare, the fact is, about one in every four 20-year-old American workers will suffer a disability before they reach the age of retirement.
Nowadays, about 33 percent of all SSDI benefits claims received in a year are approved. If you receive a denial in response to your claim, you may be able to appeal the decision.