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The Social Security Disability Benefits Process
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The Social Security Disability Benefits Process

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How You Can Get The SSDI Benefits You've Earned.

How You Can Get The SSDI Benefits You've Earned.

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  • 1. The Social Security DisabilityThe Social Security Disability Benefits Process:Benefits Process: How You Can Get The SSDI Benefits You've EarnedHow You Can Get The SSDI Benefits You've Earned Social Security disability benefits can be an important income source if you ever become unable to work. These essential benefits help people suffering from medical conditions that render them unable to work, such as congestive heart failure, depression, or other debilitating conditions. Without Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, many Americans are left without a way to pay for life's everyday expenses.
  • 2. What Are SSDI Benefits?What Are SSDI Benefits? • Social Security disability benefits provide a consistent monthly income with cost of living adjustments every year for people who have a disability that has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death. Recipients also are eligible for Medicare. Regardless of your age, 24 months after your date of entitlement to SSDI benefits, you are eligible for Medicare. • Medicare benefits include Part A, Part B, and Part D. The different types of Medicare coverage will give SSDI benefit recipients access to hospital (Part A), medical (Part B), and prescription drug benefits (Part D), as well as the choice of one of several Medicare Advantage plans. It's also possible to qualify for an 11- month extension of your COBRA benefits.
  • 3. Why Use SSDI Benefits?Why Use SSDI Benefits? • You should apply for SSDI benefits because you have paid for these benefits through your payroll taxes. If you qualify because of a severe disability, then you are entitled to receive this income. • If you are ever faced with a medical condition that leaves you unable to work, SSDI benefits can provide you with a way to support yourself until you get back on your feet. • Other advantages of applying for and receiving Social Security disability benefits are dependent benefits for any children or dependents under age 18, the ability to protect your long-term disability benefits, and return-to- work incentives to help you test out your ability to return to work without compromising your benefits.
  • 4. Other Advantages To SSDIOther Advantages To SSDI BenefitsBenefits • In addition to the financial benefits, a successful SSDI benefits claim can protect your future Social Security retirement benefits. • This is because the Social Security Administration “freezes” the record of your Social Security earnings so your years receiving SSDI benefits don’t count. • This means when you do transfer from SSDI to Social Security retirement, only your years of work before you became disabled count. • Your earnings are averaged over a shorter amount of time, increasing the amount you receive every month once you reach retirement age.
  • 5. Who Qualifies For SSDI BenefitsWho Qualifies For SSDI Benefits • People have to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, both through a documented disability and a history of work experience. Typically, workers need to be under retirement age and to have worked and paid into the Social Security Administration for five of the last ten years. • The amount of monetary SSDI benefits you receive depends on the amount you paid into Social Security throughout your working years. • A doctor can help get the process rolling through documenting your medical conditions. The Social Security Administration updates its list of eligible disabilities often, including emphysema, pulmonary disease, chronic liver disease, depression, fibromyalgia, heart disease, and anxiety.
  • 6. About The Application ProcessAbout The Application Process • People applying for Social Security disability benefits make two major mistakes – they wait too long to apply and attempt to wade through the confusing hurdles surrounding SSDI benefits themselves. • Many people are too proud to apply for the SSDI benefits they’ve earned. Instead, they exhaust their personal savings and retirement accounts to support themselves financially. • Applying for SSDI benefits is a long process. Currently, more than three quarters of a million people are waiting for their SSDI hearing, with more than 1.7 million people waiting in the four levels of approval. • Applicants attacking this process without representation are left waiting while trying to sift through stacks of confusing government forms, having their claims denied.
  • 7. The SSDI ProcessThe SSDI Process • First is completing the initial Social Security disability benefits application and a detailed Activities of Daily Living (ADL) questionnaire. Your doctor must confirm you disability is expected to last at least 12 months. The average wait is four to six months and only around 36% are accepted. • Second is reapplying for an appeal if your first level claim is rejected. You must update your medical and work history and the SSA reviews your file. The average wait is three to five months and around 86% of first appeals are denied. • Third is the hearing with an average wait time currently more than 500 days. You and your SSDI benefits representative appear before an administration law judge who makes a decision base on your testimony and evidence. Around 63% at this level are successful.
  • 8. The Appeals CouncilThe Appeals Council • If your third level hearing for SSDI eligibility is denied, the next step is the Appeals Council. Wait time averages 265 days, but only 2% of these claims are successful. • There is also an additional appeal available, which is pursued by less than one percent of claimants – Federal District Court (FDC). • Approximately 70% of these are denied with a small amount receiving a decision in FDC that resulted in an award. • The remainders are sent back to the hearing level for an additional hearing.
  • 9. Hiring An SSDI Benefits CompanyHiring An SSDI Benefits Company • Making your way through the SSDI process can be long and frustrating. Instead of struggling with government forms and bureaucratic paperwork, consider hiring a Social Security disability representative to represent your interests. • A Social Security disability representative will know the ins and outs of the process best and are experienced in dealing with the many forms and documentation, which will help you get an award quicker. • The representative you choose is a very important decision. If you’re unable to work for the rest of your life, this company can be your lifeline to making sure you’re able to financially care for yourself and your family until you are of retirement age.
  • 10. What To Look ForWhat To Look For • Success Rate of SSDI Benefits Claims – Look for a high success rate. • Cost – No fees unless you receive an award for SSDI benefits. • Streamlined Process – Electronic filing speeds the process. • Dedicated Representative – Someone who will attend hearings with you. • Regular Updates – Get easy updates and check your claim status online. • Becoming disabled and unable to work can be a stressful time. Whether you’re expected to eventually recover and re-enter the workforce or if you’ve experienced a debilitating medical event that renders you unable to work, it’s important to understand SSDI benefits and the impact they can have on your life.