Not only can a disability be physically debilitating, but many disabled individuals are unable to work, which prevents them from earning an income and supporting their families, and creates a significant financial burden as well. Fortunately, the federally-funded Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program exists solely to provide critical financial assistance to individuals whose disabilities prevent them from returning to work. If you believe you may be entitled to SSDI benefits for a life-altering disability, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak today for legal help. With our SSDI lawyers on your side, you can protect your legal rights and pursue the disability benefits you deserve.
Applying for and Receiving SSDI Benefits
The process of applying for and receiving SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be confusing and time-consuming, but there are a few steps you can take to better prepare yourself and improve your chances of getting the benefits you are entitled to.
1. Get Informed
Your first step should be to find out if your medical condition qualifies you for SSDI benefits. In most cases, you are only eligible if you are suffering from a condition or disability that is expected to keep you out of your current line of work for at least one year, or result in death. In other words, if you are able to return to work after a short period of time, or if you are able to work part-time despite your disability, your application for SSDI benefits will be denied. Your application will also be denied by the SSA if you have the skill set necessary to perform a less physically-demanding job that your disability does not prevent you from doing.
2. Apply for Benefits
If you believe you qualify for SSDI benefits, your next step is to gather any and all personal, medical and financial information pertaining to your condition, so you can be prepared for the application process. Once you apply for disability benefits – either online, over the phone, or at your local Social Security office – it can take up to five months for you to either receive a disability award or a notice that your claim has been denied. There is one exception to that rule. If you suffer from a chronic illness that falls into the “compassionate allowance” category, your claim may be fast-tracked within weeks. If your SSDI claim is denied by the SSA, you can appeal the decision and await a hearing date – a process that can take up to one year or longer.
3. Get Legal Help
If you are unsure about the SSDI process as a whole, or if your application for disability benefits has been denied, you can hire a legal representative to help you with your claim. For individuals struggling with disabilities that may be difficult to prove, such as chronic pain, it may be beneficial to hire an SSDI lawyer at the beginning of the application process, in order to improve your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve in a timely manner. If you are suffering from a severe disability that prevents you from working, contact our qualified SSDI lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits, which our experienced attorneys can help you pursue.