Allsup provides three tips for SSDI applicants before starting their disability insurance application
Belleville, Ill. — Aug. 17, 2016 — Nearly 1.4 million people applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from January to July 2016, representing a slight decrease compared to 1.42 million applicants for the same time period last year, according to Allsup, the nation’s premier provider of SSDI representation services.
The decline in applications continues a trend reported by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in recent years. Over three years, applications have dropped nearly 7%, from 1,490,981 in 2014 to 1,387,288 in 2016 for this seven-month time period.
“This trend is due in part to the aging U.S. workforce, in particular as more baby boomers reach retirement age and are no longer eligible for SSDI,” explained Mike Stein, Allsup assistant vice president of Claims.
More than 151 million U.S. workers are insured for SSDI benefits, which provides monthly income to them in the event of a serious injury or illness that prevents them from working for 12 months or longer, or is terminal. “SSDI has many benefits, including access to healthcare coverage through Medicare, and return to work incentives for those people who medically recover and can go back to work,” Stein said.
Allsup now exclusively offers a new level of online assistance for those first applying for benefits with empower by Allsup®, a dual purpose online tool for both SSDI benefits and return to work assistance. First-time applicants who choose Allsup have a 50% higher success rate with their SSDI application compared to the national rate at Social Security.
Three Tips Before Filing A Social Security Disability Application
Allsup offers the following tips before filing an SSDI application.
1. Understand eligibility. The SSA administers the SSDI program, which has stringent rules to receive benefits. To qualify for SSDI benefits, individuals must have paid FICA payroll taxes, usually worked five of the last 10 years, and have a severe work-disrupting injury or illness that is expected to last at least a year, or is terminal. Applicants also must be under full retirement age (65-67).
To assist people with the disability application process, empower by Allsup provides a Free SSDI Assessment. Internet users can learn within a few minutes their likelihood of being eligible for SSDI.
“empower by Allsup provides an easy, helpful way, before you start the SSDI process, to learn of your likelihood of qualifying for benefits prior to filing a disability insurance application,” Stein explained. “Applying directly to Social Security without first understanding what the agency is looking for, and if you meet their criteria, is a waste of time and resources—yours and theirs.”
Most people can complete the empower by Allsup SSDI assessment in about 15 minutes and avoid the long lines at Social Security field offices or on the telephone.
2. Understand the importance of representation at the application level. Many first-time SSDI applicants do not have a representative to advocate for them until they appeal and request a hearing. By then, they may have to wait two more years for a decision on their claim.
“It’s important to know that only a few disability specialists such as Allsup provide representation at the initial application, which might save you more than 500 days of waiting for benefits if you’re able to receive approval when you first apply,” Stein explained. The SSA reports that only 33% of Social Security disability applicants were approved with their application in fiscal year 2015, in comparison to 50% of Allsup claimants who receive their benefits at the initial application.
3. Be prepared for Social Security’s stringent, lengthy determination process. SSDI is a complex, medical evidence-based program that requires a high level of detail and information, including work history, medical evidence and a thorough assessment of the impact on someone’s activities of daily living. “The complexity of the information required by Social Security can be overwhelming, especially in the fact that you can make simple mistakes that lead to benefits denial,” Stein explained.
After the empower by Allsup SSDI Assessment is successfully completed, applicants can move right into providing more detailed information required for their SSDI application. One important benefit of empower is that it gathers information in an easy-to-understand, plain-language manner, with audio and video help, that doesn’t confuse like government forms can.
“Allsup wants to make gathering information about your disability claim and completing your SSDI application as easy as possible, despite the complexity and requirements of this program, so that you can be successful with your claim,” Stein added.
The current hearing backlog now exceeds 1.1 million claims with an average wait of 530 days.
“Prepare yourself and don’t get discouraged, but most of all, consider choosing representation like Allsup when first applying for SSDI,” Stein said. “You get the advantage of our 30+ years of experience, empower by Allsup and our traditionally higher rate of success the first time.”