Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the go-to financial assistance program if long-term disability is the problem. However, filing for SSD benefits can be difficult if you are not completely sure what you are doing. The Disability Determination Services (DDS) office charged with determining whether or not a person is disabled has strict rules on who is approved. Even if you do get approved on your first try, chances are the monthly benefits are less than what you expect or need. The DDS determines the monthly stipend given to each claimant.
According to the Illinois Department of Human Services where that state’s DDS operates, the turnaround time for an SSDI application is 90 days. But less than 30% of those who make an application are approved, so that means 90 days with no financial assistance, and you have at least a 70% chance of being denied. There is an appeals process, but if you have to go all the way to the administrative law judge, you could be looking at a wait of 1.5 years on average. This means it could be more than 18 months, and that can be a severe hardship for some people, especially if you are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
It should be noted that the DDS also processes Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims for the disabled worker who does not qualify for SSDI, but again the process can be confusing. However, once you qualify for SSI, you may also qualify for the state supplemental payment (SSP) which makes up the difference between the monthly maintenance costs of your disability and the SSI payments.
It is important that you know your way around the SSDI and SSI programs so that you can apply successfully to receive benefits if you become disabled. With the help of an experienced SSDI lawyer, you have a better chance of getting approved as well as understand what benefits you can and should receive under state and federal statutes.