There’s no plausible way you can work to cover your expenses. You’ve been paying into Social Security for years, and now you need to call on the program for help. But just because you need the help, doesn’t mean it’ll be forthcoming.
Allowance rates between Social Security Administration (SSA) judges can vary wildly, with outcomes differing nearly 50 percentage points across cases with similar applicants, judges and hearing offices. Averages for granting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can dip as low as 37% depending on your circumstances, so it can be crucial to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get approved.
Getting a judge to approve you for SSDI might be necessary for your quality of life, but help is far from guaranteed without proper preparation:
- Documentation: Your medical records are usually the primary player when you’re trying to present a winning argument. Make sure the files you present are complete, they echo your assertions and show that you’re receiving ongoing care. The SSDI machine won’t likely wait around for you to gather records after you’ve already filed, so it’s important to have everything ready before you start the process.
- Deposition: Heartfelt anecdotes may fall on deaf ears, but evidence from credible, independent sources could bolster your bid. Ask your doctor to express your claims in your medical records and see if employers or caretakers would be willing to illustrate the hardships you’ve endured because of your disability.
- Preparation: Your claim isn’t likely to pass through on the first attempt. Initial claims to the SSA make it through around 36% of the time. Have everything ready when the process begins, but don’t expect an immediate reprieve. Failing to meet follow-up deadlines with the proper paperwork can mean a swift end to your claim.
- Delegation: You don’t have to face the process alone. Supporting witnesses, representatives and attorneys can help you when it comes time for your hearing and beyond. Facing the inability to work on top of the demanding requirements for getting assistance can be daunting, so make sure you establish a strong support network.
You’ve endured hardships up to this point, and you’ll likely have to hold out a bit longer to get the help you need. The process can be a difficult one, but knowing how to follow through on your claim could be the first step to overcoming the bureaucratic hurdles.