When you have a disability, your financial future can feel incredibly uncertain. After all, a disability will likely preclude you from keeping a job, especially a good-paying job. Thankfully, the Social Security Disability program allows people who have worked their entire adult life to claim benefits when they end up disabled as the result of an injury or an illness.
Most people understand that the application process for Social Security Disability benefits is a difficult one. However, few people really understand the delays, hardships and red tape that people with disabilities must go through to connect with the benefits they deserve. It can take months or even years for someone with a serious disability to connect with the benefits he or she needs to survive.
Many applicants wait 2 years for benefits
Once someone suffers a disabling injury, he or she can no longer likely bring in any significant income. At that point, that individual has the option to apply for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security benefits. These programs protect people who can no longer work to support themselves. Thanks, in part, to high population densities, California has some of the biggest backlogs for Social Security Disability benefits claims in the nation.
The application will require medical documentation of injuries or illnesses. It also needs a review by a professional. For many people, the journey from application to approval can take two years or longer. That is if everything goes well. Some people may have to apply more than once or appeal a denial of their benefits. Each extra step can add many more weeks or even months to the waiting period for your benefits.
Getting things right the first time can speed up the process
Completing an application for disability benefits is complex and confusing too many. Not only do you need to submit specific paperwork, but you must also obtain adequate medical documentation of how your condition disables you and what treatments you are currently undergoing. Failure to properly execute the documents or omission of adequate evidence can lead to a denial of your claim and a substantial setback.
Focusing on getting everything right the first time is always your best bet. Even if that means relying on professional help, an accurate application can help you connect with benefits that much more quickly. After a denial of your application for disability, you will have the right to appeal. However, the appeals process can also take a long time.
Ideally, your initial application is approved. Barring that, you should do everything in your power to ensure that your appeal goes successfully. Waiting too long to take action or failing to get enough documentation can mean increasing the amount of time you have to wait for the benefits you need to pay your bills.