Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), benefits application has been difficult in the past. COVID-19, like many other things in our lives, has made it more complicated.
Due to the closing of Social Security Administration (SSA), wait times by phone average 90 minutes and the backlog of people who are waiting for this vital income is growing every day.
These expert tips will help you navigate the SSDI benefits process efficiently and as quickly as possible during the pandemic.
Waiting to apply for SSDI is the biggest mistake applicants make. People wait on average 7.6 months to apply for SSDI benefits. Considering that more than 2,000,000 people applied last year for SSDI, it is possible for serious and time-consuming consequences to delay.
Nearly 600,000 people are still waiting to hear if they have been accepted at the initial application stage. It takes between four and six months to get a no or yes. Two-thirds of all applicants are denied at application level. This is often due to technical mistakes. This causes longer appeals processes and leads to longer waiting times.
The good news is that you have the right to appeal for a reconsideration. Unfortunately, a second denial will mean that you have no other choice than to appeal to an administrative judge for a hearing. This process has an average wait of over 400 days.
Get in touch with an expert representative for persons with disabilities.
According to the details of a claim, it can take months or even years to receive a decision from SSA regarding an SSDI appeal. A mistake can lead to costly consequences.
There are SSDI experts who are familiar with the process. They can help applicants navigate the requirements and determine if they will qualify before they begin the information gathering process.
If you are eligible, an expert representative for disability can help reduce the time required to be approved.
- Collecting and submitting all required information to the SSA.
- You can communicate with the SSA to your advantage.
- Identify the most important aspects of your claim that relate to your disability experience and provide evidence for SSA.
- Monitor the status of your claim.
It is crucial to find an SSDI representative who can help you with your claim. This will allow you to get approval faster, avoid an appeal and pay a lower fee. Some representatives assist individuals in applying and help with appeals if denied. Others assist with the hearing or appeals. Online, representatives often provide information about their approach, success rate, number of customers they have helped to get SSDI and whether or not they specialize in SSDI representation.
Keep your options open for a return to work one day.
Many people don’t apply for SSDI as they fear losing their job. It is impossible to be more wrong. SSDI could offer you financial relief and a pathway to work in the future.
Historical data shows that the unemployment rate among people with disabilities has been higher than the rate for people without disabilities. All job seekers face new challenges because of COVID-19’s impact on the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in May 2020 the unemployment rate for persons with disabilities was 17.9% and 12.8% for those without disabilities.
However, the majority of those we assist want to return to work as soon as they are able. SSDI provides people with a starting point and a place to start when thinking about returning to work.
Anyone receiving SSDI can access the SSA’s Ticket To Work program. It connects them with SSA-certified Employment Networks that streamline the process of returning to work. This helps to match skilled workers with employers who are looking for their talents and skill sets. The program provides benefits for a trial period to help people assess their ability to return work after a health condition. (For more information, please see How to Return to Work After a Disability.
COVID-19 presents new challenges for everyone. However, people with disabilities are at a greater disadvantage when applying for benefits. It can make all the difference to know that there are resources and supports available.