Throughout the pandemic, it’s still possible to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but it’s important to understand how to approach the process during these uncertain times. The following are some steps that individuals should take if they wish to receive benefits at this time.

Apply as Soon as Possible

Many people seeking SSDI wait too long to apply. In fact, some have been found to wait as long as 7.6 months following the onset of a particular disability before applying for SSDI, which can lead to further complications when applying.

It can take as long as six months to receive a simple yes or no response after initially applying, and around two-thirds of people who apply are denied due to technical error or other issues. Subsequently, people need to wait longer when appealing the decision.

If a claim is denied, individuals have the option of appealing, but a second denial will force the applicant to appear before administrative law judges, which can come with a waiting period lasting 400 days or longer.

Turn to a Representative for Some Help

Because the application process can take a long time to complete, and appeals can make the process take even longer, it’s often best to work with an experienced representative.

If individuals need help with the application process, there are professionals who can provide guidance throughout the process. They can begin by determining if the applicant qualifies before applying and help gather all necessary documentation to ease the application process and increase the applicant’s chances of being approved.

In addition to determining if a person qualifies for disability benefits, representatives can provide additional assistance with other aspects of the process such as:

  • Establishing and maintaining communications with the Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Collecting and submitting all necessary information to the SSA
  • Checking the status of the application and appeals for any changes
  • Gathering additional evidence to support a claim based on the applicant’s specific experience

Consider the Possibility of Returning to Work

One of the reasons why people don’t apply for SSDI is because of the misconception that they won’t be able to return to work after seeking and receiving benefits. However, SSDI can simply provide temporary assistance as individuals prepare to reenter the workforce. SSDI doesn’t close the doors on the possibility of going back to work once the recipient is able to do so.

With these tips in mind, applicants will be able to more adequately prepare for the application process throughout the pandemic.