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Expect long waits when applying for Social Security Disability

California workers disabled by serious injuries or suffering from debilitating or terminal diseases often seek Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration will need three to six months to review an application's paperwork and medical records. Only about one-third of applicants succeed on their first attempt. When the agency denies benefits, applicants may appeal the decision, but the appeals process could take up to two years.

Due to the length of time necessary to pursue benefits, people confronted by long-term disability and the inability to work should launch their applications as soon as possible. Waiting would only worsen the financial hardship that results from income loss.

To qualify for these monthly payments, people must experience severe impairment that will endure for at least 12 months or cause their death. Applicants must show that they paid FICA payroll taxes for a minimum of five years within the previous 10 years. They also must be younger than retirement age.

After applying for benefits, people should evaluate their household budgets and prepare a spending plan that fits their limited incomes. Disability benefits will not replace the salary from a job. People burdened by disability should cut their spending and consider seeking assistance from organizations that might help with utility bills and food.

The importance of gaining approval could warrant reaching out for legal assistance during the process. An attorney who works with people seeking SSD benefits could oversee paperwork and collect and transmit all of the necessary medical records. In cases of terminal illness, an attorney might be able to expedite the process and cut down on wait times. If an appeal becomes necessary, an attorney help communicate the client's need clearly.

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