In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must meet strict criteria:
- You must have a physical or mental condition that is permanently disabling or expected to last a minimum of 12 months.
- You must prove to the Social Security Administration that your condition or disabilities prevent you from working. You must also show proof that you can’t be trained to perform a different line of work.
- You must have medical records to support your claim and complete the application correctly.
It is common for SSD applications to be denied the first time. In fact, nearly 70 percent of applications are rejected on the first submission. The most typical reason for the denial is that the applicant failed to show sufficient proof of disability or did not fill out the application form correctly. Fortunately, there is an appeals process that allows you time to get your application materials in order.
If you are approved for SSD upon appeal, your benefits can be made retroactive for up to 12 months from the date of your application. However, there is still a waiting period of five months from the date of your disability before the payments will begin. Also, keep in mind that you will have to wait until the first day of the sixth month to collect your retroactive benefits. This means that if you applied on August 2, your benefits would not kick in until February 1.