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Easing the SSD benefits application and appeals process

With modern technology, we are often spoiled by the ability to do things with a click of a button. While we wish everything in life could be quick and easy, this is not always the case. For those living with a disability, applying for Social Security disability benefits is not quick and easy. Even after the application process is complete, this does not mean everything is all said and done. In fact, because many initial applications for SSD benefits are denied, many applicants can expect to go through the appeals process.

In Ohio, the appeals process can be rather daunting. According to current statistics, only 34 percent of initial applications are approved. And when applicants are initially denied, the appeals process could stretch on for months or even years.

It is not only the waiting that makes the appeals process challenging. While disabled individuals are waiting for their hearing, many are unable to work. Their funds begin to dwindle, making it extremely challenging to get by and meet their basic living needs.

In order to ease this processes that is frequently difficult, applicants can consider the following tips. First, the time to file can play a role. Some advocates maintain that filing as soon as one is no longer able to work may be beneficial. However, other advocates contend that three to four months after unemployment is the suggested timeframe.

The phrase "Practice makes perfect," applies to the application process. It is possible to print out the application and fill it out by hand first. Once completed, an applicant can complete the application online. This ensures the application is complete and is not missing any important details. Finally, applicants should obtain a free copy of their medical records. Because medical records are proof and evidence of disability, understanding if these documents prove eligibility is vital.

Applying for disability benefits is not always easy; however, it is often necessary. Living with a disability might be challenging, but it does not mean one has to live with financial hardships. SSD benefits can be extremely helpful, and individuals should take the time to understand the process of applying for these benefits.

Source: Cleveland.com, "Applying for Social Security disability? Tips to increase your odds of success," Brie Zeltner, Jan. 14, 2018

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