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Tips on how to improve your chances of receiving SSD benefits

Although the numbers behind Social Security Disability Insurance may make it seem like a lot of people get approved for benefits, it's simply not the case.

Let's take a look at the numbers. More than 11 million people in our country are paid out some $143 billion each year in disability benefits. And the Social Security Administration received some 2.7 million applications in 2013, which is up from nearly 2 million just a decade earlier.

But that's where the big numbers stop. Of the people who apply, only about 36 percent have been approved in the time period between 2004 and 2013. A very small percentage of people are awarded benefits on appeal.

What does this mean for a Georgia resident who is trying to apply for benefits? It's very likely that he or she will get denied the first time around. So what can an applicant do to avoid getting denied?

First and foremost, it's important to have all the proper documentation. Documenting every visit to the doctor that is related to your condition is crucial to your case. It is also important to get your doctor's evaluation on paper. A doctor can fill out a residual functional capacity form that will detail your prognosis and limitations. It's vital that an applicant can prove that the disability will either lead to death or affect the individual for more than one year, and that the individual cannot do any other type of work due to the disability.

Sometimes people make the mistake of not following through on sending required paperwork. Another mistake is continuing to work while waiting for an answer. While it makes sense that some people can't afford not to work while they wait, the administration may see that as evidence of your ability to keep working.

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