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Tips for getting SSDI benefits- Part II

Last week we talked about the first five tips for getting SSDI benefits. This week we will discuss a few more tips which should help ensure your SSDI application is processed as quickly as possible.

Top Tips for getting SSDI Benefits

1. File your disability as soon as you become disabled.

Assuming you have a condition which is going to last 12 continuous months, it is important to file your SSDI application as soon as you are unable to work. Not only is there a five month waiting period to receive SSDI benefits, it can take months to be approved.

Additionally, if you become disabled and wait too long it is possible to lose your right to SSDI benefits. Many claimants do not realize this, but there is a date in the future, called the date last insured, which is the last date a claimant is still “insured” after they stop working and paying into the SSDI system.

2. Get help with your SSDI application if you need it.

Tip number two may not seem important, but if you are sick and having difficulty performing the most basic daily functions, you may not be able to properly complete the SSDI paperwork. If you are not able to file all documents thoroughly and within the specified deadlines then you need to talk to a disability lawyer, family friend, relative, or a Social Security field representative for more help.

3. See a doctor as necessary.

Seeing a doctor regularly for your condition may not seem like a big deal, and it may be difficult if you do not have insurance or you have limited funds, but the SSA will consider it very important. In fact the reasoning goes something like this: if this claimant is really sick they should be seeing doctor. If they are not seeing a doctor, they must not be very sick.

Additionally, disability decisions are made primarily based on your medical information. If you have no medical evidence to support your claim of disability the SSA is likely to deny your case.

4. Do not go back to work.

Claimants always ask if they can work part-time after they have applied for benefits. Maybe, but it’s likely the SSA will consider that if you could work 30 hours you might could work 40 hours.

It’s also not unusual for claimants to wait a few months to get SSDI benefits and realize they will have to return to work simply because they have not been approved for benefits but they have to have money to support their families.

The problem with both of the scenarios above is that the SSA will not consider you disabled if you can perform substantial gainful activity. So if you are able to work full-time the SSA will automatically conclude you are not disabled and deny your SSDI claim.

5. Tell the truth.

Whether you are talking to an SSA representative at an initial disability meeting or meeting with a judge in a SSDI appeals hearing it is important to tell the truth. Do not downplay pain or other symptoms and do not over state your condition and your limitations. Lying under oath is not only wrong, it can be criminal.
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