When suffering from a severe disability, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Besides the enormous everyday effort required of anyone living with a severe disability, you must juggle doctors’ appointments, medical treatments, and hospital stays. You are unable to work causing your income to plummet along with your energy level.
In the midst of this stress, it is not uncommon for people to make the mistake of not pursuing their Social Security disability applications. This is a big mistake! Once approved, your Social Security disability benefits can go a long way toward relieving some of the stress you are living with. Here are some tips to keep you going:
- Get professional help. There are various professionals out there who can help you through the often lengthy process of applying for Social Security disability benefits. These include social workers, non-profits, and qualified Social Security disability lawyers. Attorneys know the system and can relieve you of the burden of figuring out who to contact, what medical documentation to gather, and how and to whom to present your information. They will stand by you at your interview and at your appeals hearing and they can make simplify the process for you so you can make informed decisions. They will also make sure you don’t miss any deadlines! This is very important, because missed deadlines can force you to start the process over again from the beginning.
- Get organized. Get a calendar and dedicate it solely to the Social Security disability application process. Write down every appointment and every deadline, together with the names and contact information of the people involved. Check your calendar every morning and be diligent about keeping yourself on track. Being organized is crucial even if you have hired a professional to assist you. Approach the disability benefit application process as you would approach a work assignment and make it a priority.
- Accept help from family and friends. To the extent you have family or friends who are willing to lend you a hand, don't be afraid to ask them to make telephone calls, write letters, and take you to your appointments. Ask them to bring meals, run errands or even drive you to your next appointment. Any help you can get from friends and family can go a long way towards freeing your energy to tackle the next task, whatever that may be.
- Don’t get discouraged and never give up. When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, don’t get discouraged by the length of the application process. Don’t give up if your initial application is denied: more than 60% of initial applications are denied. Go on to the appeals process.
With persistence and help, you will be able to complete the application process from initial evaluation through the appeals process to the final decision.