If you have a medical condition or disability that is severe enough that it prevents you from making a living and supporting yourself or your family, you may have cause to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. A type of assistance reserved for those who have particularly severe conditions that should last at least a year or longer, SSDI benefits may be available to you, depending on your previous work contributions and how much you paid into the Social Security system.
While obtaining SSDI benefits is not always easy (Everyday Health reports that only about 33 percent of applicants who apply each year receive approval), you may be able to find success through an appeal if the U.S. Social Security Administration denies your initial claim. However, developing a better understanding of the application process and the benefits system itself may increase your chances of filing a successful SSDI claim. So, before you submit your application for SSDI benefits, recognize that:
Benefits are not always lifelong
While SSDI benefits are, by design, long-term, an approval does not necessarily mean you will receive such benefits for the remainder of your life. If your medical condition is one that might improve over time, you can expect the SSA to review your situation periodically to make sure you still fit the criteria for SSDI benefits. If not, you may have other, shorter-term options available to you, depending on circumstances.
The longer your paper trail, the better
Your chances of receiving an approval for your SSDI claim vary based on the severity of your condition. Thus, the more documentation you have about your condition, the better, so save everything you receive from your doctors, pharmacists and so on. If you are not sure if something is important, err on the side of caution and save it.
For many people, SSDI benefits mean the difference between learning to live your life with a serious disability, or just barely scraping by. Remember, even if you receive a denial in response to your initial claim, you may be able to find success through an appeal.