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Applying for Disability? 4 Key Tips to Get You through the Process

If you are disabled, there is a lot to know about applying for disability. At first glance, you would think that this would be a relatively easy process. Unfortunately, applying for disability can be long and drawn out—especially if you do not come prepared with the right information. Even if you are legitimately disabled, there are many details that you should be prepared to address in advance to make this process occur more smoothly. Here are four excellent tips that can help you get through the process.

Pay Your Taxes on Time

You would never know this, but the government has ways of making it difficult for legitimately disabled people to qualify for SSDI. If you worked the required number of years to obtain the necessary amount of work quarters you need to apply for SSDI, but you failed to pay your taxes for certain years, you are going to learn the hard way that you will not be granted the required work quarters you need to qualify for those years for which you did not pay your taxes on your income.

Even if you pay these taxes late, you will still not be granted the work quarters you worked so hard to earn. So, before you even think of filling out an application for SSDI, be sure that you have acquired all the required work quarters you need by checking with the SSA for this information. They should have a record of how many work quarters you presently have, and can make that information available to you upon request.

Work and Medical History

Much of what the SSA wants to know centers around your work and medical history. A disability examiner will be attempting to figure out if your claimed disability is extensive enough to grant you the right to receive benefits or if you are able enough to return to work. Dates you worked and contact information for medical professionals you have seen are essential points of information for your case. Failure to provide adequate information in these areas is a typical reason for why so many disability applicants get refused for benefits.

If You Are Blind

If you happen to be blind, it is important to read up on issues related to the blind and visually impaired when applying for SSDI. Some of the disability rules are different for this class of disabled people. One thing you must watch out for is that you need to be aware that having an SSA representative fill out your application over the phone for you is a bad idea.

If you cannot see well, you will likely not be able to properly convey all the relevant information they need over the phone—especially if that information is in written or printed form. Worse, they can fill out the application incorrectly, and you will likely not even know they made serious mistakes until it is too late. There is a high probability of this if you get someone on the phone at the SSA where English is not their native language.

Work with a Disability Attorney

Chances are that on your own you will hit one brick wall after another when attempting to fill out the application for SSDI benefits. The government has made this process difficult for a reason, but a disability attorney like Glen Cook Social Security Attorney or someone similar should be able to help you navigate all the pitfalls in your way. In addition, a disability attorney can help you address any related legal issues that may show up as red flags when applying for disability benefits: such as owning more than one property, having high yield investments and other similar complications.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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