Should I Apply Online for Social Security Disability Benefits?
You may do a lot of things online: check the weather; shop for deals; research medical conditions. Why not apply on your own for disability benefits online too? It may seem simple enough to click through the online Social Security Benefit Application, fill in the answers, and then hit “send.”
But there’s nothing simple about SSA’s questions.
An Experienced Disability Expert Knows the Reasons Behind Every SSA Question
How would you answer: “What are the illnesses, injuries or conditions that limit your ability to work?” Or, “How do your illnesses, injuries or conditions limit your ability to work? You may only be thinking about the most severe aspects of your condition if you were answering these questions on your own. But there could be other symptoms that you wouldn’t necessarily consider important. A disability expert, such as a Freedom Disability Advocate, would know how to explain why you can’t work.
After listing your work history how would you describe the job you did the longest? How would you answer; “What did you do all day?” How you answer this question could send SSA a conflicting message that maybe you can work. A Freedom Disability Advocate knows why SSA is interested in your work experience.
At first glance, SSA’s questions may seem straight forward. The answers are not. Each one is like applying a layer of paint to your disability picture. You want SSA to clearly see how your condition impacts your daily life. A Freedom Disability Advocate knows what SSA is looking for, and how best to create that picture. Why wouldn’t you want the guidance and insight of an experienced disability expert to help you?
What Happens After You Hit “Send”
If you choose to submit an initial online application to SSA on your own, the first thing SSA will do is make sure that you are insured for disability benefits. If you meet their technical disability eligibility requirements, your application will be sent to a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in your state where a review of your information will lead to a decision on whether or not SSA thinks your condition is disabling enough to keep you from working.
Your application will be reviewed using a strict adjudication process. If it is not absolutely clear to the DDS examiner that your medical condition is preventing you from working, according to their strict rules, you will be denied.
At this point, it is strongly advised that you get a Freedom Disability Advocate to analyze the reasons why SSA denied your application in order to build a strong appeal of SSA’s decision. SSA denies nearly 65 percent of first-time applications. That’s the stark truth. But, close to 90 percent of cases get approved at the hearing level of the appeals process.
Should your initial application still get denied, your Advocate will prepare you for the challenges of SSA’s rigorous appeals process on through to getting approved.
Why Risk it Alone
On the SSA Web site, it says that it will take 10 to 30 minutes to “read the instructions, gather the facts, and answer the questions.” Sounds quick and easy – but many of our disability claimants who did try to apply on their own online have said that the questions are confusing, or hard to understand. Some said their medical condition made it hard for them to focus or sit too long in front of the computer. Some admitted that it would have taken them days to complete the online application on their own. They appreciated spending about an hour on the phone with their Freedom Disability Advocate, who filled out the online application for them. The burden of creating a convincing application was taken off their shoulders.
The SSA Web site is set up to help make the process seem easy. But getting approved is far from it. “Gathering the facts” about yourself and “answering the questions” with enough detail is crucial for building a strong application. You want to do it right. And you have to do it right – from the very beginning of the process.
Why navigate the SSA disability system alone when you can get the experts at Freedom Disability to do it for you?Contact Freedom Disability for a free, no-obligation eligibility evaluation to make sure you qualify. And share this article with anyone who is weighing their application options.