If you’re filing for disability in 2020 or any year after, you should expect some extra roadblocks. In 2019, the SSA has changed the way that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims are determined in Missouri, which may make it more difficult for you and cause more delay in getting your disability payments. What does this mean for you? How will this impact your ability to receive disability payments?
If you need to know more, let us help. In this blog, we’re going over what this change is and what it means for you.
What is the change?
Prior to the current change, the process for disability looked a little like this:
- You apply for disability
- The SSA determines if you are disabled or not using the information you provided
- If your application is approved, you start receiving benefits
- If your application is denied, you can appeal and petition for an in-person hearing
- If your application is now approved following the hearing, you can receive benefits.
- If your application is denied, you can go to a review by the SSA Appeals Council.
The change now comes after one applies and their application is denied. Missouri now has what is called a reconsideration period. This means that there is a complete review of your original application by someone who was not involved in the original review. At this time, new evidence may be included. You cannot receive an in-person hearing without going through this reconsideration process.
For those applying for disability, this additional step may serve as an issue for those wanting to get benefits quickly. The majority of claims are denied during the initial application stage, and it usually takes an in-person hearing to get benefits approved. With this extra step, it will now take even longer to get benefits approved. If you need benefits sooner, you will need to be aware that this may now be a longer process.
Note that this does not apply for those who are offered a compassionate allowance. Certain medical conditions are eligible for benefits more quickly as they are more severe and more deadly. Some of these conditions include cancers and childhood diseases that result in death.
What does this mean for me?
If you are applying for disability, there are three things you should keep in mind as a result of this change:
- You need clear documentation. Since the beginning stages are even more important to getting your benefits cleared sooner, it’s vital to be clear in your documentation. Get letters and medical records from your doctor that prove your condition. Reach out to previous employers for proof of your inability to work. Do whatever is necessary to get proof of your disability.
- Expect a delay. If you expect that you will rely on disability payments, be aware that it may take longer now. If this is an issue, you may explore other government aid programs like SSI.
- Get a lawyer. Now more than ever, it’s vitally important to get a lawyer to help your case. If you are concerned about getting your disability approved, they can help you get the required documentation, and they will help you understand the application process to its fullest.
Do you need a lawyer’s help to file for disability?
Contact Reynolds & Gold. We can help you with every step of applying for SSDI.