No matter where you are in the disability claims process, you may feel as if you have hundreds of unanswered questions. Below are the five most common questions among SSDI recipients, or those in the process of applying, and their answers.
Question: How Long Will It Take to Hear Back on the Decision?
This depends on many things: how much information you provided in your application, how soon your doctors/caseworkers/etc. get back to Social Security with answers to any questions, and the nature of your disability. Speak with your Social Security caseworker who may be able to give you an accurate timeline.
Question: How Long Will I Be Able to Receive My Benefits?
When you've applied for long term benefits, it's assumed that you'll be disabled more than one year, usually until your death. The Department of Social Security will check in with you every 3-7 years just to make sure nothing has changed. Assuming nothing has changed, you'll continue receiving your benefits as usual.
Question: Will I Ever Be Able to Return to Work?
If you feel that you may be able to return to work, even after you've started receiving your benefits, Social Security allows a trial period for you to see if you can handle it. This means that you will still receive your full monthly benefits while working, no matter how much you earn. This trial period was put into place so that those individuals receiving disability could test their ability to work without fear of losing their benefits if their trial proves unsuccessful.
Question: How Can I Survive On My Disability Benefits Alone?
Many individuals receiving SSDI also qualify for other assistance. Food stamps, housing assistance, and subsidies for utilities are available as long as your household qualifies. If you think your household makes too much, apply for these assistance programs anyway. You may be considered your own household when you receive SSDI.
Question: Do I Need to Work With a Disability Attorney? Will They Be Able To Help If I'm Denied?
You don't need an attorney, but they may be able to help move your case along. To better understand how they can help, set up a consultation with one.
If you've been denied, an attorney can help you appeal the decision. The appeals process can be confusing, frustrating, and long. When you work with an attorney, they will represent you and walk you through the process.
If you're still feeling as if your questions and concerns have gone unanswered, contact your SSDI caseworker or a disability attorney.