Getting approved for SSDI can be a very long, drawn-out process with months waiting before each decision followed by reconsideration and appeal. Most people do not have the means to wait for that long without help but feel that they also cannot afford someone to help them through the process. There are some important things you can do to speed up the SSDI process and get your benefits started sooner.
Tips for Filling Out the Application
The application is far more important than most people realize because it is actually the first full presentation of your case and your reason for needing SSDI.
Here are some of the most important steps to take so you get your claim approved more quickly:
- Make sure you do not have typos and misspellings on your application. They can cause your application to not be examined as carefully because it is harder to read. Incorrect numbers may mean that those checking your application are looking at incorrect information.
- Fill in all information completely, including past work history. It may not seem important but there is a reason for all the questions on the application.
- Do not continue to work after filling out an application for SSDI or SSI. If you are disabled and cannot perform at the job, it will not look good if you are still working at the job.
- You cannot receive unemployment benefits and SSDI at the same time, so do not apply for unemployment if you are hoping to receive an award for SSDI.
- Provide all your medical history, even if you think it does not look good. Hiding information deliberately is more likely to get you in trouble than help you.
- Give specific details as to how your disability is affecting you and your ability to work. Provide concrete examples and explain how this impacts your ability to do your former job.
- See a doctor for your disability. Make sure that you continue to follow up even after the initial diagnosis or injury so that you can fully document what has been happening and the continuing impact it is having on your life.
- Take your required medications and follow through with all recommended treatment. If you are not cooperating with treatment, a case can be made that you are keeping your own recovery from progressing as fast as it should.
- Follow up and check on your application after you file it.
- Get an attorney to help you with your application so that you are filling out the information correctly and giving information that is relevant to your case. Do not worry about finding the lowest priced attorney, because fees are established by law and contingent upon your attorney winning your case. Instead, find a lawyer you can trust and are comfortable with.
Are You Eligible to Speed Up Your Application?
There are some things you can do to make your application better or even fast track it.
- You may qualify for some programs that will help your application be examined and approved more quickly. Wounded Warrior and Compassion Allowance Level (CAL) can help you get your application fast-tracked so that you do not have to wait as long.CAL allows for certain conditions to be eligible for faster processing, such as Adult Onset Huntington Disease, Acute Leukemia, certain kinds of Bladder and Breast Cancer, Child Lymphoma, and 1 Cell Disease.
- Conditions that have reached a terminal stage are automatically eligible for fast-tracking.
- Find a specialist in your particular condition so that you have much stronger proof. An expert will be able to provide more information, and more detailed information, about why you should be able to win your case.
- Even if you cannot find a specialist, document everything. Bring in a timeline listing when everything happened, every doctor’s appointment, and everything else relevant to your disability. Your application can be processed more easily if it is well organized.
- Use an attorney to find out if there are other ways you can speed up your application.
Once your application is approved, there is still a period of time you are required to wait before benefits start. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can get through the process.