When it comes to navigating Social Security’s complex, lengthy, paperwork-filled journey of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Social Security Disability, you may want to read up on a beginners guide. While this may sound like a little much for what should be a basic process, the truth is that if you decide to file for SSI or SSDI payments, there’s a lot of paperwork and jargon involved, and chances are, even if you more than qualify for these payments, you’ll be denied. By knowing more about how the system works, you’ll be better prepared to fill out all of the paperwork, speak with a caseworker, and if need be, hire an attorney to help you get the approval you need.
First, know that SSI benefits are for low-income individuals who are ages 65 or older, as well for individuals who are blind or otherwise disabled, and also for children who are blind or otherwise disabled. SSI benefits are based not just on a person’s age or diagnosed disability, but also on their level of income.
SSDI benefits, on the other hand, are earned benefits. What this means is that blind or otherwise disabled people who have worked, and also adults who have never worked due to having a diagnosed disability since their childhood, can earn these benefits, which are paid out directly to them, or their beneficiaries (widowed spouse and/or children).
To apply for SSI or SSDI, you need to obtain an application, which can be picked up from any Social Security office, filled out online at SocialSecurity.gov, or sent via mail at your request. The paperwork is lengthy, spanning several pages, so you can expect to need to set aside a couple of hours to fill out everything. Besides your basic information, you’ll be asked about your work history, and then, in a lot of detail, about your disability – when you were diagnosed, how the disability is being treated and who is treating you (medical professionals), and what the expected prognosis is.
Chances are, even if your paperwork is filled out in detail, and you supply ample amount of medical documents that support your claim to a disability diagnosis, you’ll still be rejected. But there is a lengthy appeal process within Social Security, during which you can move up the ladder, so to speak, in order to have your case heard by a judge and ruled upon. In the event that your Social Security application is denied, hiring a lawyer to fight for you is a smart move, because they can make advances where you can’t, and get the win that you need