There really are no other options for you. Your medical ailment has hindered your personal and professional lives to the point that you can no longer perform routine things such as walking a few blocks and working. This may be a permanent disability or put you out of commission for at least a year. Either way, it is time to pursue Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.
It is best to apply for these invaluable benefits as soon as can. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will hear whether your ailment qualifies you for these much-needed benefits that will help your family. But you must remember, there is a waiting game. If you qualify, you likely will wait for a minimum of eight months or even more than a year to receive them, so time is of the essence.
Apply, appeal and wait
The U.S. government is not known to be swift when it comes to decision-making. This proves to be an obstacle and frustration for the people who file for SSD benefits. Here are the necessary steps involved when filing and waiting to hear for SSD benefits:
- Upon submitting your application, the waiting journey starts. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may take three to five months to make a decision. If the government declares that you qualify for benefits, then you still must wait the required five months before receiving benefits. Best case scenario: an eight-month wait.
- Do not be surprised if the government denies your application because roughly two-thirds of applications do not pass muster. Now, it is crucial to file an appeal, and you have 60 days to do so.
- Upon appeal, an administrative law judge reviews your case and listens to details and evidence before a decision, which may take one to three months.
- A favorable ruling from the administrative judge means you will receive disability benefits. But you will have to wait another five months. The SSA declares that qualifying applicants will not receive benefits until they have been disabled for five straight months.
Keep in mind that many SSD applicants suffer additional hardship while waiting to hear the outcome of their appeal. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), an average of 8,000 people or 1.3% of applicants annually filed for bankruptcy from 2014 to 2019. Also, more than 9,100 or 1.2% of applicants annually died awaiting a final decision on their appeal from 2008 to 2019.
Your life has taken an unexpected turn. Now, you must find the patience while waiting to secure SSD benefits for you and your family.