The Social Security Administration maintains a program that pays out benefits to those who suffer a long-term disability. But getting approved is easier said than done. You'll want to make sure your application is as complete as possible before you send it in, and even then, the SSA might deny your initial claim or seek to get more information from you. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you navigate this process for the first time.
You Must Prove You Are Eligible
The SSA is very strict about who gets approved for the long-term disability program. You must meet certain criteria and have proof to back it up. This usually includes medical documentation showing that you have a disability that is keeping you from working or one that could lead to serious further health consequences if you don't continue to receive regular treatment. The SSA typically doesn't cover people who are beyond retirement age, and they may also look into your recent tax payments to ensure everything is on the up and up.
The best way to make sure you are eligible and have the evidence to meet all criteria is to hire a social security disability law expert before you apply. A good lawyer will help you nail down the requirements and make sure your paperwork is as accurate and complete as possible before you send it off.
Review Does Not Happen Overnight So Be Prepared
The SSA typically takes months to get back to people applying for disability for the first time. You might wait three to six months or longer. For this reason, it's important to keep some things in mind while you wait. First, you'll want to set a budget. You need to figure out how you can continue to maintain your quality of life from now until your benefits kick in. You should also plan for the worst and come up with a financial game plan for what you will do going forward if your initial claim is denied.
Keep Doing What You're Doing
It's also important that you continue with any medical treatment and continue to document. If your initial application is denied, you will be able to submit further evidence during appeal showing that you are receiving ongoing treatment. It's also a good idea to avoid going on social media and posting any photos that might put your disability into question. For example, a photo that is cropped the wrong way might cause someone to think that you have more use of your body than you actually do.
Contact a social security disability lawyer today for more information.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.