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ALS patients no longer face SSDI 5-month wait period

Many Minnesota residents living with disabilities can sometimes feel as if they are facing setbacks at every turn. For instance, applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a long process, and even after approval, qualifying individuals have to wait five months before they are able to receive SSDI benefits. Fortunately, for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a new law is changing that requirement.

Because ALS can quickly affect a person’s abilities, it is important to act just as quickly when it comes to getting these individuals the help they need. ALS advocates have been working for nearly a decade to bring the five-month waiting period to an end so that individuals with ALS can receive their SSDI benefits more quickly. Now, a new law does away with that waiting period for ALS applicants who qualify for benefits.

While this is certainly a win for individuals with ALS, the report also noted that work would continue regarding legislation to hopefully eliminate that waiting period for individuals with other disabling conditions as well. Particularly, the hope is that it will be eliminated for those with conditions that will likely prove fatal within five years or that have no known cure. When faced with an aggressive condition, having financial benefits as soon as possible could make a world of difference.

While the elimination of this waiting period for those with ALS can certainly be considered monumental, it is important to remember that Minnesota residents and those elsewhere still need to apply for SSDI benefits. The process can be overwhelming, and often, applicants face denials that can seem like the end of the road. Fortunately, a first-time denial does not have to mean that a person cannot appeal the decision and hopefully still qualify.

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