Everything You Need To Know About Your First Social Security Disability Claim
Social security helps to lift people out of poverty, according to scientific research.
The latest figures from the Social Security Administration (SSA) reveal that 12 million Americans with disabilities receive Social Security benefits each month. But if you’re one of the 375,000 Americans that became disabled in the past year, now is the time to claim Social Security. So, let’s find out how to make a successful Social Security claim for disability for the very first time.
Understanding the Social Security system for disability
To qualify for Social Security due to a disability you must not be able to work because of your disability and it must have affected you for the past year or is expected to last at least one year. You will need to have paid Social Security taxes on the earnings you made in your previous employment(s) too.
The aim of Social Security for disability is to help disabled people with the everyday cost of living. Research has found that out-of-pocket costs for people living with disabilities are double the amount people without disabilities pay. As a result, the National Disability Institute says an additional 28% income is needed for people with disabilities to live a comparable life to someone that’s able-bodied.
Getting what you’re entitled to
Be prepared to wait for Social Security benefits as the average approval time is 2 years. This is because many applications are rejected and a Social Security appeal is needed. When this happens a disability judge will assess the case. Following this, 54% of cases will be approved. In some states, it’s more difficult to get an approval.
Oklahoma, Arizona, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida have the lowest approval ratings, while Kansas and New Hampshire come out on top. Although it can be tricky to get Social Security benefits for disability, don’t give up if you know you’re entitled to them. Make sure you have sufficient medical evidence to back up your claim and get a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment to prove you’re unable to work. It’s also worth hiring a disability attorney to help you.
Keeping the SSA up to date
It’s important to remember that Social Security benefits are for people with disabilities who are in need of extra income. If anything changes regarding your disability, such as your condition worsening or improving, you must tell the SSA. Similarly, if a dependent moves out, always tell the SSA straight away as the amount of benefits you receive may be affected.
By keeping the SSA in the loop, you can be sure that you’re legally receiving everything you’re entitled to. Failing to report any changes can lead to you having to repay the benefits. You may also face criminal charges, so it’s not worth the risk.
Millions of people with disabilities rely on Social Security benefits to get by. If you meet the criteria for this benefit, make sure you apply as soon as possible to get the ball rolling.