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What You Need to Know Before Applying for Disability Benefits

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For many people, taking the step to apply for disability benefits is a huge hurdle in itself. It is a big psychological burden for many to make the admission that they do require the help of benefits to help them in their situation – and to face the fact that they have significant health issues.

Therefore, when they are then faced with a complex system that is firstly, difficult to embark upon and secondly, hard to get justice within, it is important to be prepared. Many questions are likely to crop up, such as ‘how long will my application take’ and if you are rejected, then ‘where are disability lawyers near me’.

We will try to answer the most frequently asked and important questions for you here below.

What is the definition of disability
For your claim to be classed as eligible for processing, you must meet the requirements of what is regarded to be the definition of disability. These are a very carefully drawn up list of points that every applicant must meet – which define your condition as being significant enough to qualify as registering you as disabled in the eyes of the benefits system.

Namely, your illness must be serious enough that it is expected to last for at least a year or even result in death. It would also usually be included in the Social Security Administration’s ‘Listing of Impairments’, which is made of categories for each part of the body. Furthermore, you should be unable to work due to your condition.

What types of disability benefits are available
There are two main types of benefits that are available to applicants who meet the relevant criteria. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and this is particularly for those who have suffered the misfortune of becoming disabled after earning the required number of Social Security credits within a certain amount of time.

The second is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is for those who have no means of supporting themselves and who have a disability or are aged 65 or older.

What you will need to provide to qualify
Before applying, it is important that you first check that you measure up to the criteria and also have all of the relevant information to hand to file your application.

You will also need to provide details of your work history, your earnings, income, job history, citizenship, any other benefits you currently receive and whichever  bank or financial institution you are with. It will save time if you have all of this prior to the point of starting your application so that you can just input all of the details needed straight away and then submit it.

Once you have thoroughly read up on all of the relevant points, you should be in a strong position for Social Security Disability Benefits. You can appeal a decision if it is denied, but all being well, you should then expect to have a five month-long waiting period for your benefits to start if you are successful.


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