No one expects to become disabled. Yet, every year a significant portion of the population finds themselves with a debilitating injury or illness that renders them unable to work. For these individuals, their financial security can be put in jeopardy. Not only are they unable to obtain a wage, but they are usually also in need of significant medical treatment. This is why it is critical for these individuals to seek Social Security disability benefits, which may provide them with money to help cover their lost wages and medical expenses.
Since the mid-1990s, the Social Security disability rolls have ballooned, making it a hot topic amongst politicians. This significant increase may make it seem like it is easy to obtain these benefits, but the truth of the matter is far different. In fact, only about 40 percent of applicants are deemed eligible to receive SSD benefits, and the process can take up to two years. However, with careful planning, persistence and strong evidence supporting their claim, those suffering from a disability can position themselves well to recover benefits.
Of course, once benefits are obtained they are not guaranteed forever. These individuals may be subjected to reevaluation of their medical condition and their working ability. The Social Security Administration even has an incentive program, known as Ticket to Work, that seeks to reward disabled individuals who attempt to return to the workforce.
What does all of this mean for those who are currently disabled and without income? It means they need to be prepared to fight for their benefits from the get-go. They need to gather compelling evidence, craft strong legal arguments and be prepared to convince an administrative law judge how they meet the SSA's definition of disability. Those who would like assistance with this complicated and oftentimes daunting process can speak with an experienced attorney.