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Leaving SSDI applications and appeals to the experts

Financial advisers help people make important decisions about what to do with money. Which stocks to buy or sell, for instance, as well as how to match investments to personal financial goals. One aspect of advice and guidance that financial advisers often fall short on is helping clients navigate the Social Security Disability claims process.

According to a recent article in a financial adviser newsletter, too often these men and women who know a lot about stocks, bonds and tax laws know little about the SSDI application and appeals processes. That means that their clients often miss out on getting financial assistance when a disability prevents them from working.

The article in Investment News has some advice for the advisers -- if you don't understand the SSDI process, turn to the experts: those who make it their business to help people apply for disability benefits. Many applicants turn to an attorney who understands preparation and presentation of documentation of disabling illness to the administrative law judge presiding over an SSDI appeals hearing.

Investment News shared the story of an adviser who had a client who suffered a catastrophic injury in a car accident that left him a quadriplegic. Yet it never occurred to the adviser that his client was now eligible for SSDI benefits.

The publication warns advisers to beware: applying for SSDI is not easy or quick. It now takes an average of 605 days -- or more than a year and a half -- to appeal a denied disability claim. Advisers should also know that it could take months to hear back from the Social Security Administration after an initial benefits claim has been filed.

We agree with Investment News: applying for SSDI is best left to those with a deep understanding of the processes and paperwork.

You can speak with an experienced SSDI attorney about the next step to take in your situation.

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