The Social Security Administration is bombarded every year with applications for disability benefits, and over 30% are rejected. The main reason people who apply for social security disability benefits are rejected is lack of preparation. Not having the right documentation can mean the difference between success and failure when submitting your application for social security disability benefits. The kinds of paperwork involved in an application are both numerous and necessary; this is the only way that the government can ensure that the right assistance is going to the right people. So to ensure the highest possibility that your disability application will be accepted, here is a checklist to consider:
Do you qualify?
In order to qualify for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration has a strict definition of what constitutes disabled. Partial disabilities are not considered, only totally and permanently disable persons need apply. The SSA defines disabled as a medical condition that has or will last more than one year, may result in the person’s death and prevents the applicant from work or participating in any substantial gainful activity. Mental disabilities are much harder to prove by the strict parameters of this definition. The SSA has a list of impairments that are automatically qualified for disability benefits, check your condition against this list to be certain that you qualify.
When submitting your disability application be sure to have your medical records available documenting how your disability effects your ability to earn an income. A doctor may be willing to sign a document attesting to this fact which may also prove beneficial for your application. In some case you may be asked to submit to an exam by the SSA, you should attend this no matter what as failure to do so may result in the rejection of your application.
Are you fully insured?
The definition of fully insured is having earned 40 credits over the course of ten years (the maximum credits earnable is 4 credits per year) covered by your employer. Each credit is equivalent to $ 1120, so a minimum yearly wage of $ 4480 is needed to obtain the required credits to qualify as fully insured. There is an alternative test offered by the SSA if you have worked for less than 10 years.
Have you worked recently?
There are two different types of disability benefit payments that you can apply for: Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, which are applicable to people who have gained enough work credits over the course of their employment; and Supplemental Security Income benefits for those people who have not earned enough work credits and whose incomes and household assets fall below a level predetermined by the SSA.
The process to apply for social security disability benefits can take a long time, anywhere from 2 – 5 years depending on the number of times your application is rejected. There is also a mandatory 5 month waiting period between the time your application is approved and the time you receive your payments. While getting all your documentation together prior to applying is an excellent way to smooth out the process of applying, you may want to consider hiring a professional consultant to take a look at your case before submitting your application.