When you can no longer work due to a disability, your greatest worry is how you will provide for yourself and your family. Fortunately, if you have earned enough work credits, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
As a first-time applicant, you likely have many questions about how the SSDI program works. Here are some important facts you need to know right away.
You should apply for benefits right away
You are only eligible for SSDI benefits if your disability is likely to last at least one year. Because of this, many people incorrectly believe they can only apply for these benefits after 12 months. However, this is not the case. You should apply as soon as you have medical records that support your claim.
You can qualify for Medicare after a waiting period
Because most people receive health insurance through an employer, you may wonder how you will take care of your medical expenses when you can no longer work. If you are eligible for SSDI benefits, you are also eligible for Medicare after a 24-month waiting period. During these two years, you may be able to receive insurance through your former employer.
You can appeal a denial
According to the Social Security Administration, the SSA denies approximately 63% of SSDI applications. You can appeal this decision, and after a hearing, the likelihood of approval increases.
If the SSA rejects your first claim, review your application for common mistakes that lead to a denial. This will allow you to revise your application and improve your chances of a successful appeal.