SSDI or SSI, usually called "disability insurance," is insurance provided by the Social Security Administration to those who cannot work because of a physical or mental disability. If your disability is making it harder and harder to provide for yourself, you may apply for these benefits yourself. However, it's not a given that you'll be approved. For that reason, these social security SSI tips are worthwhile.
1. Don't Collect Unemployment
Because benefits can take some time before being awarded, some people think they'll get some help by collecting unemployment insurance instead. However, this is a bigger mistake than you may know. By signing up for those benefits, you certify that working is something that you can do if a job was given to you. This is in direct opposition to what you're claiming in your SSI application, which is that you aren't capable of holding a job. The conflict may affect your ability to receive either.
2. Not Seeing Doctors
You may have been attempting to manage your health all alone. However, it will seem suspicious to the Social Security office if you aren't under the care of physicians and healthcare professionals. Having medical records that can support your claims about your inability to work is vital to the approval process.
If you've stopped seeing physicians because you were told to get a certain procedure done or follow certain treatment, that can also raise questions that delay your approval. Typically, you will be asked to explain your reasons for not complying with doctor recommendations. If you can prove that you had a financial hardship or that the treatment made your health even worse, that could be considered understandable. It's just important that you can show you've been working with doctors and trying to get better or manage your health in a responsible way.
3. Be Specific
Vague statements on paperwork or at the SSI hearing about your health are not enough to receive benefits. You will be asked to express directly how your specific disability interferes with life. You may want to keep a journal detailing these issues to present at your hearing.
4. Follow Up
After completing initial application, you may wait to be notified about the hearing or an approval. However, failure to follow up and remain in touch could cost you. The Social Security Administration may want you to submit more documents or clarify various information. Ensure that you're in contact with them regularly.
Your benefits could be more easily received with an observation of these SSDI/SSI pointers. For a stronger application, consider working alongside a disability insurance lawyer.