Life's Too Short... so make the most of it! Try something new, eat something healthy, grow something beautiful, hug someone you love, move around a lot, and be kind to yourself. Melanie Cole, MS brings you the best tips from lifestyle and fitness experts to the best and brightest medical professionals.

How to Apply for SSI Disability & Get It Right

From the Show: Life's Too Short
Summary: Find out how to apply for Social Security disability and improve your chances for approval.
Air Date: 7/24/18
Duration: 20:11
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Mary Dale Walters, Senior Vice President of Allsup
Mary Dale WaltersMary Dale Walters is a senior vice president for Allsup. She focuses on the company’s efforts to ensure access to a continuing quality of life for tens of thousands of customers.

Allsup works with individuals, employers and insurance carriers to coordinate private and public benefits for workers with disabilities and retirees, including Social Security Disability, Ticket to Work, Veterans’ Disability, Medicare, Marketplace plans and private employer benefits.
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  • Guest Twitter Account: @Allsup
In 2017, 68.5 percent of applicants for Social Security disability who applied on their own were denied benefits. The process and paperwork is complicated and overwhelming for many.

Eligibility Requirements for Application

  • You must have worked five of the last ten years.
  • During that time, you must have paid FICA taxes on your pay.
  • You are between ages 21 and 65.
  • You have medical evidence of physical or mental illness and confirmation from a physician that shows you can no longer work.
  • Your disability must last twelve months or longer, or will contribute to your death (i.e., ALS or stage-4 cancer).
  • Visit to check your eligibility.
If you are able to return to work, there are incentives to aid your return. Receiving Social Security benefits isn’t necessarily lifelong. Some situations just require a boost to help get you back on your feet.

Apply as soon as it’s clear you can’t work for twelve months or longer. If you are still working, you will be denied. There is a five-month waiting period before your benefits will kick in. About 34 percent of those who apply for benefits are approved without appeal. Appeals can take years.

Listen as Mary Dale Walters joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss how to improve your chances to receive your Social Security disability benefits when needed.

Audio / Radio Segments