It isn’t easy to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. First, you have to determine if your condition even qualifies. Then, you have to make sense of the paperwork and follow all of the bureaucratic steps required by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Finally, if you are one of the many applicants who doesn’t receive benefits right away, you may have to appeal, a process that could involve multiple stages and take more than a year to complete. How do you know when you should contact an attorney about SSDI benefits?
When you have an unusual condition or unusually severe symptoms
The SSA has a list of qualifying conditions as well as a relatively straightforward method for analyzing whether someone has a truly disabling medical condition. A condition needs to prevent you from working or affect your ability to care for yourself. It also needs to persist for at least 12 months.
If you have a medical condition that is not on the list or if you have an unusually severe form of a condition that is frequently not disabling, you may need assistance with adequately documenting your condition and advocating for yourself. You may also want to obtain help because of your risk of a denied application and potentially for an appeal.
When mistakes or oversights lead to denied benefits
If you already submitted an application unsuccessfully, you may struggle to properly represent yourself during the appeals process. Whether you made mistakes with the paperwork or need assistance demonstrating the severity of your condition, you don’t want to make the same mistake or similar mistake during the next stages in the process. Bringing in outside help will make it easier for you to correct previous issues and avoid other mistakes that may impact the appeals process.
When your condition makes it hard for you to focus on the paperwork
The more painful and debilitating your condition is, the harder it may be to handle a complex Social Security application or plan for an appeal hearing while enduring painful or distracting symptoms. Having outside help will mean that you can apply for benefits without the process detracting from your recovery or your daily life.
Recognizing when you need help with your SSDI application might increase your chances of success and reduce how difficult the process is for you.