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Understanding the basics related to applying for disability

Social Security disability or SSD benefits may be available to disabled individuals who are so severely impaired they are unable to work and have paid into the program while working as adults. The SSD insurance program is designed to provide long-term financial protections for disabled individuals. There are a variety of common concerns associated with applying for SSD benefits, so it is helpful to be familiar with the realities of the process.

Although not all initial claims for Social Security disability benefits are approved, 33 percent during 2013 were approved. While many applications for disability are initially denied, the SSD claims process provides several levels of appeal when a claim for benefits has been denied. SSD benefits can help with daily needs of disabled individuals. During 2015, the average monthly disability payment was $1,165. For disabled individuals trying to return to work, a trial period is provided during which they will not lose their benefits and can attempt to return to the workforce.

It is helpful to understand the SSD application process, which does include information from a doctor and medical records. Overall, it is also useful to be familiar with what documentation is required as part of an application for disability benefits. Once SSD benefits have been approved, they may be permanent; however, if the disabled individual's condition is expected to improve, it will be periodically reviewed.

SSD benefits are available when an individual is unable to work because of a severe disability that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death. Other types of benefits may be available if the applicant lacks the necessary work history required to qualify for SSD benefits.

Disability may be more common than some think, as the Social Security Administration reports 1 in 4 20-year old workers will become disabled prior to reaching retirement age. Because of this reality, it is important for disabled individuals and their families to be familiar with the options available to them and the SSD application process.

Source: EverydayHealth.com, "10 Myths and Facts About Social Security Disability Insurance," Kathleen Doheny, Aug. 28, 2015

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