If you have a physical or mental health condition that interferes with your ability to work, your medical condition may be classified as a disability and make you eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Obtaining SSD benefits is never as easy as saying you have a disability and are immediately granted compensation. The application process may be complicated and the waiting period (to hear the initial decision) may take up to a few months. Additionally, over half of first time applicants are initially denied SSD benefits, due to technical or medical reasons, leaving applicants to file an appeal.
Whether you are gathering information for your application process or you’re awaiting the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision, consider this technology to ease the process and stay organized:
Applying for Benefits
Hopeful SSD recipients have the option to apply online or in person at a local SSA office. Whichever method you choose, it’s important and advantageous to be organized and have all the information you will need. Not only will you need to provide basic information about yourself and your spouse (if applicable), you will need to have detailed and accurate information concerning your medical and job history, including the names and dates of appointments, tests, doctors, and other relevant information. While most applicants may have no trouble with the basic information, trying to keep your medical information straight may be difficult, particularly if you’ve had numerous doctor or hospital visits for your disability.
Although you can (and may be required to) obtain certain documents from your doctor, downloading an app to your smartphone can put all of your medical information at your fingertips rather than lugging around your home filing system. The free app, MyChart, for example, allows you to access your medical records on your phone at anytime and see what prescriptions you are taking, when you visited your doctor, and other important and relevant information. While there are many apps out there, choose one that is easy to use, easy to understand, and is secure.
Preparing for Your Future
When you’re out of work for any reason, living on a limited income can be stressful. SSD benefits can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand a month, therefore, it’s important to prepare for your financial future and figure out your finances before you receive your benefits. According to SSA, disability benefits (if you qualify) will not begin until the sixth full month of your disability, therefore it’s important to apply as soon as you as you are unable to work due to your medical condition.
If you’ve never paid close attention to your daily expenses, it’s never too late see how much you’re actually spending, create a budget, and make adjustments if needed. One of the easiest ways to manage your money (for free) is by downloading a money managing app that can help you track all of your expenses, as well as learn how to spend and save while on a limited budget.