When a medical issue keeps you from doing your job, you may have a financial option available. The government offers help for those unable to work at their job, and if you qualify you can expect to replace at least a part of your salary using the monthly benefit. Since the application can be a bit complicated, you can increase your chances of a successful application by doing some prep work before you file. Read on to learn more.
Have you worked long enough and earned enough money to qualify? Every time you earn some money, Social Security deducts a little from your paycheck. To get benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses your work history to determine whether you qualify. Before you apply, it might be helpful to see how much, if any, you can expect to get in the form of both disability and retirement payments. You can sign up for an account and view your benefits online.
Have you been sick for long enough? It is not enough to be too sick to work, your condition must have prevented you from doing your job for at least one year, or you must be too sick to do your job for one year in the future.
Can you show proof of your medical issue? The only form of proof the SSA is interested in is your medical records, so if you have not already been seeing a doctor for your issue you must do so now and you must continue to stay in treatment for this condition. Get records of your treatments, diagnostic tests, medications prescribed and more.
Do you have details about your work history and personal information at the ready? You can make the application process go a lot smoother if you gather the information you need ahead of time, such as:
- Dates of employment, wages, contact information and work tasks of your last several employers.
- Education information (dates of school and college, degrees earned, etc)
- Military service dates
- Names and ages of all children living with you (who are under the age of 18)
- Your spouse's name and Social Security number as well as any past spouses.
What if my claim is denied? Don't give up, many first claims are denied, but are then approved if you go through the appeals process. Be sure to speak to a Social Security attorney, such as from Cohen & Siegel LLP, for help with your appeal.