Most of us do not consider the Social Security Disability system or the process of applying until we are in need of benefits. While you may have private insurance or think that the Social Security system is something you deal with in retirement, remember that it may be a benefit you will need sooner than you think. According to the Social Security Administration, a fourth of 20-year-olds will be disabled by the age of 67. This means that they will be unable to continue to work and potentially dependent on government benefits.
As a recent Chicago Tribune article points out, applying for Social Security benefits is a challenge, but it is worth it in the end. Our Massachusetts Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys are experienced with the complexity of the SSD system and in applying for benefits on behalf of our clients. We know that medical documentation and timely filing is critical to help those individuals and families who suffer with illness and disabilities.
Remember that the majority of disability claims will be denied. Even if your claim has been denied in the past, you still have the opportunity to appeal and present your case for benefits. The process for filing and obtaining benefits is never easy, but with an experienced advocate and an understanding of the SSDI system, you can improve your chances of qualifying.
Under the SSA guidelines, you must prove your disability and your disability must meet certain criteria. According to the SSA, you must have a severe impairment that prevents you from performing substantial, gainful work. This means that you must have an illness or temporary disability that renders you unable to complete your work duties. The impairment must also be expected to last one year or result in death. This means you cannot apply for benefits due to a short-term illness. Your impairment must also prevent you from doing the same work you did before its onset and you must be unable to adjust to other work because of your impairment.
While the guidelines may seem relatively straightforward, there are a number of complicated questions that could impact your eligibility. For example, is there another job you are capable of doing? Are you anticipating a full recovery? Are you able to pursue training for another work opportunity despite your illness or disability? It is not surprising that for those who become diagnosed with an illness or partially disabled, the requirements and questions can seem daunting.
An experienced advocate can help you to review your case and claim and make appropriate medical and legal arguments on your behalf. You should be prepared to file for Social Security benefits as soon as you think that you will need them; however, you should wait until you are no longer working full-time and you have a reasonable expectation that you will be unable to work within the following 12 months. Remember that it will likely take 6 months for the SSA to process your application.
There are different types of benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While SSI has the requirement that you be below a certain income, SSDI has other work credit requirements. The SSA can provide some guidelines for your eligibility; however, an experienced advocate can help streamline the process and help you towards a successful claim.
If you are considering filing for SSDI in Massachusetts, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
SSDI and Private Disability Insurance, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Blog, September 30, 2013
Limiting Cancer Diagnoses Could Impact SSDI Eligibility, July 31, 2013, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog