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Tips for applying for SSD benefits

It is difficult to imagine a time when it could be challenging to do daily tasks. Whether that means taking care of yourself, enjoying leisure activities and even holding down a job, one does not know what it means to be incapable of doing these things until it happens to them. Suffering from a disabling injury or illness is a shocking event. It not only causes pain and suffering, it also causes the need to seek medical treatment, make accommodations and even endure financial hardships.

Many individuals in Ohio and elsewhere understand that Social Security disability benefits are in place to provide financial support to those living with a disability. Nearly 9 million Americans utilize these necessary benefits, evidencing how it important these benefits truly are. However, due to media and news coverage, most are aware of the challenges faced by those applying for SSD benefits. Whether it is the initial application phase or the appeal process, applicants are often faced with a lengthy wait period.

While the application process can be stressful, as it is possible one could be initially denied, it is important to consider the following five tips. To begin, an applicant should determine whether they are eligible for benefits based on the definitions provided by the Social Security Administration. One must be suffering from a qualifying disability and they must have this severe impairment for at least 12 months or it must be fatal. In order to evidence eligibility, applicants must have documentation and medical records that clearly prove their claim.

Next, an applicant needs to file their application immediately. This will ensure the disability doesn't hurt them financially, dipping into savings and retirement accounts while they wait to receive disability benefits. Third, an applicant should begin to budget and spend smarter. This means reviewing spending habits and understand what is necessary and what is not. Fourth, an applicant should maintain his or her health insurance throughout this process. Medical evidence is necessary; therefore, maintaining medical care is also necessary. Finally, one should get help as early as possible. This will ensure one is well informed and takes timely action.

Applying for SSD benefits is anything but an easy time. It is challenging to deal with the impacts that a disability brings to one's life, and it is difficult to go through a lengthy application or appeals process. Therefore, obtaining help could help one overcome some of this, reducing the stress this may cause a disabled individual.

Source: Kiplinger, "5 Tips on Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits," Michael Stein, April 24, 2018

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