Did you know that Social Security Disability wait-lists are so long that thousands of individuals died last year before their cases were heard? Demonstrating that the system is in dire need of reorganization to enable it to work properly. But what does this mean for the average American that needs to claim disability benefits? Keeping reading to find out.

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The problem

The problem here was that the Social Security Disability system in America is in disarray. There are far too many people applying for benefits than can be seen in a reasonable period. Causing huge delays and wait times, which are leaving vulnerable, sick people without the essential income they need to survive.

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Remember too, that the average disability payment isn’t a lot, so most of the applicants aren’t trying to get a free ride and not work for a living, but are genuinely in need of assistance. Combine this with the issues that the US is having with providing standardized, affordable medical treatments for all through Medicare, and it’s not hard to see why medical fees and benefits are both super hot political topics right now. After all, they are affecting real people in their real everyday lives. Indeed for many, it is truly an issue of life or death!

What is Social Security Disability?

For those unsure how the US benefits and medical system works here is a quick rundown. Medical care is provided by hospitals, some of which have free clinics, but most of which work within a free market system. Meaning they choose to set their own prices and there are no standardized costs for medical procedures.

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This means you have can have the same treatment in one place and will cost you double, or triple what it would in another. Making medical care very hard to access for many. Of course, this has a knock on effect. Meaning for those struggling to pay for medical care their conditions often worsen, as they skip treatment. Leaving them to be sick for longer periods of time and affecting their quality of life and earning potential.

Now, Social Security Disability (SSD) is designed to act as a safety net for those people. As if a doctor has confirmed that your condition is serious enough to stop you working for over a year, you can, in theory, apply for SSD to help you with the cost of living during this time.

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Unfortunately, as many folks approach this dire position, they find themselves being delayed further from getting any help because of this massive accumulation of over 1 million disability applications that need to get before a judge. Something that is causing delays in financial relief to some of America’s most vulnerable and needy residents.

What to do if you find yourself in this situation?

Now, the government has pledged to employee additional administrative staff, as well as disability judges to ease this build-up of undealt with applications. But what can you do if you find yourself as part of the multitude that needs to apply?

Well, first of all, clarity and evidence to accompany your application are a must. So be as clear and concise on your application as possible.

Also ensure that your doctor is in support of your disability request and has provided you with the correct evidence to back up your case, for when it comes in front of a judge. This should include the full name of your medications and how much you are taking each day. As well as your medical records, not just from your doctor but also physical therapists, alternative therapists, hospitals, clinics, psychotherapists, or psychologists.

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You will also need any significant test results from the lab that contributes to proving the status of your condition. Also, you will also need to the contact details of the key people that have worked on your case. Such as doctors, caseworkers, and therapists so they can be spoken to confirm your diagnosis. You will also need to record and include when you saw these specialists, and for what, in as clear a way as possible.

Remember too that as Social Security Disability (SSD) deals with long-term issues that prevent you from working, you will need to include information about where you worked before you got sick and the type of work you did. As this helps to show that your health prevents you from doing this anymore.

It is important to include all of this information. As anything that can help your request be granted the first time around without the need for an appeal can help you get your financial aid quicker.

Some folks also choose to be guided through the process by lawyers like the LaPorte Law Firm and other specialists. As they focus specifically on disability applications. Meaning they have the expertise and knowledge to help you complete your application right the first time, as well as assist you in the appeal process if necessary.

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What to do if you don’t qualify for Social Security Disability?

Unfortunately, Social Security Disability is not available to all. It’s only available to those that have worked enough to earn the right amount of credits. So what can you do as an individual if you don’t qualify?

Well, the other alternative is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is also administered by the Social Security Department. Although, it’s for folks that have long-term disabilities and so have not been able to work for some time, as well as children with disabilities and the over 65s that don’t earn above a certain limit.

The application, however, will go to the same office to start with as SSD, meaning that your request for SSI may not move speedily either.

To quicken the process don’t forget that you will need to apply in a different way depending on your situation. Parents applying for children will need to fill in a Child Disability Report online. While the over 65’s and as single people over 18 and under 65 need to call or visit their local Social Security office to get the application process started.

Although, whether it’s SSD or SSI that you are applying for from the Social Security Department, just pray that your case gets heard and granted before it’s too late!