If you've been unable to work because of a medical condition, you may be considering filing for Social Security disability. SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) comes from funds set aside from your paychecks. When you either retire or become too sick to work at your job, you can get those funds returned to you in the form of monthly payments. While the entire application to approval process is known for its hitches and snags, there is a way for you to potentially shorten your wait time. Read on to find how.
The proof the Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to see
Many applicants fail to provide the SSA with what they need when they apply and that can cause delays. Every time the SSA has to wait for you to provide them with needed information it extends the time you must wait before getting benefits.
Don't get stuck in processing
If you follow the progress of an application for SSDI through the system, you will find that the status on most applications says "processing". This can mean anything from the application sitting on an examiner's desk to it being in a "hold for more information" status. You should understand what the SSA needs to see before they either approve or deny your application. You can deal with either an approval or a denial, but you can do nothing if the status is "processing".
You can access your information
Your medical records constitute what is likely the most valuable piece of documentation in an application for benefits and you can cut right to the chase by providing those records along with your initial application. You do not need to wait for the SSA to ask for those records; just make copies and attach them to your application. Getting your records takes some time so the sooner you request your records from all the various medical facilities the quicker you'll have them. You have the law on your side when it comes time to make those requests. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides all citizens with the right to access their medical records within 30 days of the request.
A strong claim of disability and the potential for a lot of back pay could mean that the help of a Social Security attorney is a wise idea. If you end up getting turned down, an attorney is a must for help at your appeal hearing.