You may have expected to work right up to retirement, maybe longer. However, your recent diagnosis was a painful reality check, and now you are exploring every possible option for financial support. Your first thought was likely Social Security Disability Insurance, which will provide you with a monthly sum of money if you qualify. Because of the rareness of your condition, you are already sensing there will be trouble with your application for benefits.
What does the SSA consider a qualifying disability?
After a diagnosis of a rare disease, applying for SSDI means you must provide the information requested on the Social Security Administration website. The SSA categorizes the conditions by types of diseases or the areas of the body they affect, for example, cardiovascular, digestive, musculoskeletal or immune system.
For some of these conditions, you must show certain physical evidence as well as a doctor’s diagnosis. However, many conditions require only a physician’s diagnosis. In order to qualify for any SSDI benefits, you must meet the following requirements:
- You have worked at a position that paid into the Social Security program for a certain amount of time.
- Doctors have diagnosed you with an illness that is severe enough to prevent you from working.
- Doctors expect the illness to afflict you for more than a year or cause your death.
Most applicants must wait a few months before the SSA completes their applications and approves their eligibility. However, if you suffer from any of a select group of severe disorders, you may qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program, which speeds up the application process so that you begin receiving your benefits within a few weeks.
Seeking benefits for your disability
If you were counting on SSDI to sustain you through your illness, you may have been devastated to learn they had denied your claim. However, that denial does not have to be the end of the line. If you aren’t sure what to do next, help may be closer than you think.
A Florida attorney with a history of success in applying for benefits and appealing denied SSDI claims can evaluate your situation and help you take the next step. Even if the agency does not recognize your disability, a lawyer will often know how to approach the application process to potentially gain approval. Your chances of obtaining the benefits you need may improve with a strong advocate on your side.