Recent statistics have revealed that one out of every six working-aged Americans representing 29.5 million people become disabled. Disability is accompanied by a wide range of consequences. While some people may still be able to work despite their disability, others with severe and long-term disability may have a limited capacity to work and hence are prone to experience economic hardshi[s.

Figures released by the Council for Disability Awareness revealed that more than 37 million Americans are classified as disabled which represents about 12% of the overall population andf over 50% of that number are in the working age of 18-64 years old. As of 2012, there are 8.8 million disabled wage earners getting Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. As of March 2013, the average monthly benefit received by disabled men and women workers were $1,255/month and $933/month, respectively.

According to the website of the Hankey Law Office, disabled workers can only rely on social security disability benefits for their financial needs. Applying for social security disability can be a long and tedious process. In its annual report for 20134, the Social Security Administration revealed that only 36 percent of claims filed from 2004 to 2013 were approved. In addition, about a quarter of the applicants are given benefits on their initial claims, 2 percent approved on appeal and 11 percent at hearings.

Given the difficulty of getting approved for social security benefits, Stephen Dunn, a staff attorney with the New York Legal Assistance Group, recommended that applicants should get the right material to the right people at the right time. He put emphasis on getting the application right at the first time. You need to make examiners see that you have been receiving regular medical care. Having a good medical record is crucial in establishing the seriousness of your condition and how it has affected your abilities.

When to Apply

It is important that you apply as soon as you become disabled. Your benefits will not kick in until the sixth month of your disability. Your waiting period begins after the first full month after the date your disability claim has been approved. Processing usually takes 3 – 5 months but you can shorten the processing by providing the necessary information and documents during your application. If you have the needed documents, submit it right away.

How To Apply

To be eligible for Social Security disability, you need to have worked at least one-fourth of your adult lifer or at least 5 of the 10 years prior to the onset of disability. You would have to wait for five months before you can qualify for benefits.

According to data from the Social Security Administration, 28 percent of final medical denials in 2013 were attributed to the impairment considered “not severe.” Another 31 percent were due to the applicant being considered as still being able to do work.