5 FAQs About Filing For Social Security Disability Benefits

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Have you been recently injured or developed some type of disability that is preventing you from working? If so, you may be considering applying for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security provides a monthly income for people who are unable to support themselves do to qualified disabilities. If you plan on applying for benefits soon, check out these frequently asked questions.

How Often Are Claims Approved?

About 70 percent of disability claims are initially denied. Usually, however, it's because some information is missing or incorrect. First, they will verify your personal information, such as your name, address, etc. If any of this information is wrong or missing, they may deny your claim. Second, if you do not include all your medical information with the claim, they may deny it because you are lacking sufficient evidence of the disability. The best thing to do is not file a new claim. Instead, gather the additional information or make the necessary changes and file an appeal.

Do You Need an Attorney?

There is no law requiring you to have an attorney when you file for disability benefits, but it is recommended. There are a lot of legal snags that can hold up your claim or prevent you from getting benefits altogether. An SS disability lawyer, however, has the information and education to ensure your claim is complete and includes every bit of proof you need. Plus, they'll do all the work for you, so you don't have to. Whether you've already filed and been denied or you haven't filed yet, an attorney can help get your claim approved faster.

Is Short-Term Disability Covered?

Social Security disability benefits are not for short-term disability. It only covers people if their disability will last at least a year. This is because it is only reserved for people with severe disabilities, not people who can't work for only a few months. For short-term disability, talk with your employer to see if it is offered through your company at a discount. If not, you can buy your own policy, but you need to buy it before the injury for it to be covered in most cases.

Do You Need to Wait to Apply?

Although you need to be disabled for at least a year to get Social Security disability, you don't need to wait a year to apply. As long as you can prove you will be disabled for at least a year, you can file as soon as possible. If you apply too soon, however, there may not be enough medical proof to show you will be disabled for a long time. Once your claim is approved, the pay is retroactive to the date of the disability onset. This is usually a lump sum, and you typically pay for your attorney with a percentage of this amount.

Are You Allowed to Work?

You can actually work while you are getting disability. The amount changes each year, but you are allowed to earn up to a specific dollar amount each month and still receive benefits. If you are applying for benefits, you cannot currently be making more than this amount (even if your disability just started). This allows people on disability to "test the waters" and see if their disability has improved enough to let them work. At the same time, they don't have to worry about being kicked off disability and then realizing they still can't work.

Social Security disability benefits help many Americans who are unable to work because of physical or mental disability. If you are filing for benefits, or if your claim has been denied, an attorney can help. For more information, contact a disability attorney in your area today.