Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefit provided by the government to those that are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to an impairment or illness. That is, make more than a certain amount of income in a month. These cash benefits are not provided automatically, and those seeking them must undergo a rigorous application process and prove that they meet certain requirements. But, not everyone meets these requirements. In fact, most claims for SSDI are denied. Only about 36% of claims are approved on the initial application. Although there is an appeal and hearing process, this can lengthen the ordeal to many months and even years.
You want to get it right with your initial SSDI application. So, what can you do to increase the chances that you will be approved right away?
The first thing you can do to increase your chances of an SSDI approval is to determine if you are eligible for benefits. This means that you are suffering from an illness or impairment that is expected to last more than one year or result in death and that prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity.
Then you should remember that you are responsible for your application. This means you should not expect help from the government and should take the matter of completing your application very seriously.
If it is feasible, you should stop working. Although many cannot afford to take this type of hiatus from work, working until your application or approval date sends the message that you are able to engage in work despite your claimed disability. The same goes for workers’ compensation benefits. You are pledging to workers’ compensation that you are willing to work but telling SSDI that you are unable. These things can be taken into account by the SSDI examiners.
Most importantly, you should submit as complete an application as possible. This means sending in all of the medical records that relate to your claim. You don’t want to keep the agency guessing- spell it out for them. You also want to show them that you have been receiving medical treatment continuously up until this point. It is also a good idea to have your medical providers explain your limitations and submit a residual functional capacity form if necessary.
Last but not least, follow up on your submissions.
Using an attorney to file for claim for SSDI benefits can only increase the chances that you will be approved. Contact a New York City SSDI attorney to evaluate your case today.