Getting through the Social Security disability system is difficult enough. Here are some simple quick tips to make your life just a little bit easier:
1. How much have you worked over the last 10 years?
If you have not worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years, you need to contact SSA before filing and determine your Date of Last Insured. This will determine if you will be able to qualify for SSDI benefits or SSI only. If the date is sometime in the future, this means you have acquired enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. If your date is in the past or there is no date at all, this means you can only qualify for SSI.
This makes a big difference. For one, your payment will likely be higher per month if you qualify medically for SSDI benefits. Second, this also means you can still work a little while being on SSDI as well without your income counting against your benefits. Finally, it also means that you can go back in time to allege a date of disability under SSDI, whereas under SSI it is only the date of the application which determines your onset date. This equals more back pay if your case is approved.
Confused? It's understandable, it can get confusing at times.
2. What kind of work did you do for the last fifteen years?
This is especially true if you are over the age of 50. If you were in management or acquired skills from your past work, then it may be more difficult for you to receive benefits. If you have worked at unskilled labor for the past 15 years, then the level of disability required may less than the person who has acquired what is called transferable work-skills.
3. Know when you stopped working.
Too many people apply for benefits and state a date when they became disabled and were still earning income. In order to allege a certain date of disability, your earned income has to be below a certain level. If you get this incorrect, then it slows down the processing of your disability claim.
4. Have good medical records.
No one is requiring that you be cured. But, you do need sufficient medical evidence to prove you are disabled. Even if this means you go to a low-cost medical clinic every three months, at least this is showing to the Administration that you have a severe condition.
5. Get help when you feel like you need it.
Don't just give up or not complete something you are required to submit back to the Administration. This is one of the main causes why disability applications are denied or abandoned. If you need help, contact an experienced disability attorney. He or she cannot be paid unless your case is successful. If so, a portion of your back pay will be paid to them and the rest will go to you. It's a small price to pay for success.
Speaking of which, if you need help with your Social Security disability case, feel free to contact our office at: (888) 780-9125 anytime. We'd love to help. We now help claimants fighting for their disability benefits throughout the United States.