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What to keep in mind when applying for SSD benefits


The Social Security Disability Insurance program is meant to support those people who are unable to work due to a disabling medical condition. In some situations, SSD benefits are also available for certain family members of disabled people. The SSDI program is funded by taxes withheld from workers' income and, therefore, the Social Security Administration thoroughly investigates a claim before approving it.

As New Jersey residents may be aware, there are many guides on the SSA website that provide plenty of information about applying for SSD benefits. However, despite those guidelines, applicants often make mistakes during the application process, which can eventually lead to denial of SSD benefits. Therefore, it is important to keep certain points in mind so that the SSA does not turn down an application.

First, an applicant should never forget that SSD benefits are only available to those people whose income is less than $1,090 per month. However, earning more or less than that amount does not guarantee SSD benefits for an applicant. It is also important to remember that the number of years that a person has worked and has paid Social Security taxes can also influence the SSA's decision regarding eligibility.

Second, an applicant's claim for SSD benefits can also be denied on the grounds that the medical condition mentioned in the application does not meet the SSA's guidelines. However, there are certain provisions, such as the Compassionate Allowance program, under which certain claims can be expedited. In complicated cases, the SSA only grants benefits after thoroughly studying the applicant's disability.

Finally, the amount of time that all SSD benefits applicants must wait can also result in denial of benefits because many people collect unemployment benefits or other forms of disability benefits while waiting for the SSA to make its final decision about a disability claim. The wait can sometimes be as long as one year and the SSA seems to react negatively if an applicant explores other benefits during the waiting period.

Applications for SSD benefits are complicated in the first place but when the factors that have been mentioned in this blog post are added to the equation, the process can be cumbersome, especially for a person who is already disabled. Therefore, while applying for SSD benefits, it may be a wise decision to retain an attorney who has appropriate experience in helping disabled people to obtain SSD benefits.

Source: The Motley Fool, "Social Security Disability: 3 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Applying," Dan Caplinger, Sean Williams and Keith Speights, June 27, 2015

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