The diagnosis of a rare and debilitating disease is stressful enough. You are probably spending hours trying to find information about your condition online, speaking with specialists and looking for support. You may also be dealing with emotions from family and friends who want to be helpful but may not know how.
Trying to find help on your own may be exhausting, and while emotional and medical support is important, you are likely going to need financial assistance too. If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you are probably ready to investigate the process of applying for benefits.
Qualifying for the benefits you need
In most cases, the process of applying for and receiving SSDI benefits may take several months. Often, the SSA rejects patients the first time they apply, making it even longer before you actually start receiving benefits. Before you even begin the process, you must meet these requirements:
- Depending on your age and employment history, you must have contributed a certain amount of money to the Social Security Administration through your job.
- Your illness, whether physical or mental, has left you completely, permanently unable to work.
- Doctors expect your disorder will last more than a year or will be the cause of your death.
- Your doctor has diagnosed you with a disease or condition listed in the SSA “Blue Book” of approved disorders.
- You can meet any specific requirements listed in the Blue Book for your particular disorder.
Meeting those specific requirements may be a complicated endeavor. It may involve gathering the results of supplementary medical tests or presenting further evidence of your rare disability. Often, these additional steps must be completed within a certain time frame, and this may be challenging if you are physically or mentally unwell. The best-case scenario is having all your documentation compiled and organized before you file your claim.
One more place to look for assistance
While in some cases, a doctor’s diagnosis is sufficient for SSA to accept your application for disability benefits, in other cases more documentation is required. Even if you present the evidence the agency requests, your application may still be denied. This is certainly a stress you don’t need in your life at this time.
Having an attorney to help you through the process may reduce your level of stress. An attorney will evaluate your medical condition and assist you in gathering the necessary documentation. With compassionate legal assistance, you may increase your chances of obtaining the disability benefits you deserve.