As discussed in previous posts on this blog, it is not unusual for a Social Security disability applicant’s initial claim for benefits to be rejected at first. In fact, according to one report, only approximately 36 percent of claims were approved between 2004 and 2013. The following are some tips for residents of Tennessee on what to include in their application, to ensure it is as complete as possible.
First of all, it is important to have all your medical records on hand prior to applying for benefits. This way you can present the SSA with a complete overview of your disability in your initial claim. In general, the SSA will want to see evidence that the applicant has been seen by a physician with regards to their disability both recently and regularly. The right records can emphasize how serious an applicant’s disability is and how the applicant’s disability has affected his or her abilities.
In addition, keep in mind that there are strict income requirements for receiving SSD benefits. Per the SSA, in 2016 an individual who earns over $1,130 monthly will not be eligible for SSD benefits. Moreover, if an individual keeps on working full-time until they either apply for benefits or receive a decision from the SSA regarding their application, the SSA may consider that this means the applicant’s disability does not keep them from being able to work.
In the end, even if an applicant is initially denied benefits, he or she has the opportunity to appeal, although he or she only has two months to do so. While the appeals process can take a long time, if an individual’s application is ultimately approved, he or she may be able to receive SSD benefits retroactively going back to the date he or she filed for benefits. This may be of help for those who had to go through the appeals process before being approved. In the end, it is important that one’s application for benefits is as complete and thorough as possible, so that an appropriate decision is reached.
Source: CNBC, “Steps to successfully apply for Social Security disability,” Kelli B. Grant, Feb. 1, 2016