Every year, millions of Americans apply for Social Security disability benefits as a financial resource. However, not all applicants are guaranteed to receive benefits depending on their situation. If you are disabled and considering applying for disability, there are several factors to keep in mind before proceeding with the application. Below, we’ve put together some things to consider before you apply for Maine disability benefits:
1. Does your condition qualify for disability benefits?
Whether your condition qualifies for disability by the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) standard is essential to know before applying. Not all health conditions are considered disabling. The SSA references a manual, called the Blue Book, that lists both physical and mental impairments that are considered qualifying. Check to see if your condition is listed in the Blue Book before beginning your application process.
2. Am I able to perform any level of work?
To be approved for Social Security disability benefits, your condition must be so severe that you’re unable to work and perform other daily activities, referred to as substantial gainful activity. Financial support from the SSA is considered long-term disability, only issued to those who are fully disabled and unable to return to work within a one-year period.
Consider whether you’re able to work in any capacity – perhaps you aren’t able to continue working at your current job, but is there an alternative job that you could comfortably perform?
3. Is there enough medical evidence to support my claim?
When applying for disability benefits, you must have medical evidence that backs up your claim to include in your application. You won’t receive benefits simply because your medical provider says you are disabled – there needs to be ample documentation about your condition.
The SSA will reach out to your medical providers and establishments where you’ve received treatment. They may also request an additional medical examination with one of their doctors; if this is the case, be sure to keep the appointment in order to help things move forward more quickly.
4. How long does it take to determine the outcome of my claim?
It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to hear back from the SSA about their decision for approval. The more organized you are in your preparation, such as pulling medical records, doctor’s statements and other evidence needed to come to a conclusion, the more smooth and efficient the process will be.
5. Do I need assistance filing my disability claim?
The disability benefits application process can be extremely complex. If you feel overwhelmed, have questions, or need assistance with completing your application, it’s a good idea to reach out to an experienced Social Security disability lawyer. We can help you put together your application and establish a strong case for a better chance of winning.
Contact the Disability Attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis
Woodruff & Mathis offers trusted client-centered disability attorney services throughout Central Maine. Our law office has a small team with the experience and resources of larger firms to help you with your case. If you’re looking to apply for Maine disability benefits, request an appointment with us today!