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Social Security Disability Benefits Can Be Crucial to Surviving With Spinal Cord Injury, Allsup Reports
Date:7/7/2010

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Spinal Cord Injuries and Disability Benefits
SSDI is a mandatory, tax-funded, federal insurance program designed to provide individuals with income if they are unable to work because of a severe disability. It is overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. Find more about Social Security disability applications on Allsup.com.

Edward Swierczek, an Allsup senior claimant representative, provided the following information for people with spinal cord injuries when preparing to apply for Social Security disability benefits:

1.   Speak with your treating physicians to let them know you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and that you require their support.
2.   Encourage your treating physicians to respond promptly to any requests for medical information.
3.   Be prepared for a lengthy ordeal. Nationally, the SSA denies two-thirds of initial applications, so many applicants must progress to additional levels of review before receiving benefits.
4.   Be prepared for the SSA to tell you that you can do “other” work if you have a significant impairment that precludes your past work and you are under age 50.
5.   Apprise your treating physicians that they may be asked to provide their medical opinion about your ability to function. “Getting your doctor’s cooperation and assistance to help document how your injury limits your abilities is tremendously vital to your claim for SSDI benefits,” Swierczek said.
6.   Seek representation assistance from an advocate such as Allsup, who knows the SSA disability insurance benefit program and can he
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