Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are a valuable lifeline for those unable to work due to disabilities. However, according to the Social Security Administration, around half of all initial applications are denied.
Here are some tips for maximizing your chances of a successful application:
- Make sure you qualify. SSD benefits are available to those with long-term or terminal disabilities that keep them from working. You must have a long enough work history to qualify. Even if you don't have sufficient work history, you might still be eligible for need-based benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Determine which program you're eligible for before preparing an application.
- Prepare a thorough application. When you're unable to work, every day without a paycheck can be a struggle. SSD denials and appeals can cost you valuable time. The best way to get the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible is to prepare a rock-solid application. Don't cut corners, and make sure to include all the documentation necessary to support your claim.
- Submit the right medical evidence. Many disability claims get denied initially because the applicant failed to submit the right medical evidence (or any evidence at all). Requesting your medical records and getting the right paperwork can be a hassle, but it's well worth the effort upfront to avoid delays down the road.
For more information about preparing a strong application for disability benefits - and for instructions on how to file online - visit the Social Security Administration's website.