An illness or injury that prevents you from going to work can be stressful in several ways. Not only are you dealing with the suffering of the illness or injury, but you may also have expensive medical treatments or prescriptions to afford, which may be difficult if you are missing work and not getting paid. However, if your medical condition promises to prevent you from working for a long time, you may turn to the Social Security Administration for disability benefits.
Qualifying for disability benefits through the SSA is not easy, and the qualification process can be quite long. An additional complication is that many who apply for disability do not qualify the first time around and must go through an appeals process, which adds even more time before receiving the first payment. How long will you have to wait before your disability payments begin to arrive?
What’s taking so long?
One of the requirements for Social Security Disability is that your condition will prevent you from working for at least one year or even result in your death. As soon as you understand that this will be the case for you, it is wise to begin applying for benefits since the process typically takes a while. Many in North Carolina find it helpful to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional from the earliest stages of the disability process since even small mistakes may result in long delays of your approval.
Barring any delays and under the best conditions, the approval process may take as long as five months and several more months before you begin receiving your benefits. Of course, many things can slow this down. For example, a surge in applications or a reduction in SSA agents may make it difficult for the agency to approve applications in a timely manner. To prevent disability fraud, the SSA is careful to evaluate and scrutinize each application.
Speeding things along
If you happen to have one of several conditions the SSA includes on its Compassionate Allowance list, the SSA computers may automatically flag your request and move it to the front of the line. This includes certain aggressive cancers and debilitating disorders. If your condition is on this list, you may experience a much faster approval time than normal.
Most typically, however, the best chances of obtaining a relatively quick approval and receiving benefits as fast as possible is presenting a thorough and detailed application. A skilled attorney can assist you in knowing the best time during your illness to apply for benefits and understanding the rules for disability that may apply to your situation.