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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Disability Benefits Preparations

Securing a Social Security disability benefits has always been difficult. Its natural slow process is even made slower by frequent denials of applications.

With the current economic condition, more people are applying for benefits just to make ends meet. This is because older, sickly and disabled individuals are the first ones to be laid off from their jobs.

However, to ensure approval of claim, it is best to assess the situation just like any other.

Before filing a claim, it is best to be acquainted with the process so you know what you are getting into.

First, know if you are even covered by the term disability as defined by the Social Security. Disability for benefits under title II (SSD) and title XVI (SSI) is defined as “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physician or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death."

This definition is followed in its letter. If you are not disabled within this definition then your application would be denied.

Second, delay in filing your claim could be a potential harm. Initial disability applications could take from 30 to 100 days to process. The waiting period could be more if you have to pursue an appeal process.

Third, approval of the application does not mean outright receipt of disability check. In addition to processing time of the initial disability, a 5-month waiting period would be imposed before receiving a monthly benefit check.

Last, you must plan your financial resources pending application. This might seem hard to do as most applicants are disabled or old trying to live on a daily basis. It would be hard to expect them to make any financial planning for months or years until approval.

Applying for a disability benefits is like engaging in a long war. You should never go to battle unprepared. You may ask for the assistance of a disability lawyer to walk you through the process.