What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Filing for SSD Disability - When Should You put in a Claim?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you are suffering from a severe physical or mental impairment that has significantly reduced your earnings or your ability to earn a living wage, you should probably file for disability immediately.
The Social Security Administration is currently deluged with disability applications, and thus it usually takes several months to receive a decision on a claim. Add to that the fact that the state disability determination services (DDS) agency, which makes decisions on all initial applications as well as reconsideration appeals for Social Security, rejects most claims, and you are probably looking at a considerable wait between the time you actually file for SSD and the time you will see any financial relief in the form of disability benefits (assuming your claim is successful).
Unfortunately for those who are feeling the effects of their impairment and find themselves unable to perform at work, or perhaps even unemployed, time is of the essence.
Here are some things to consider if you find you must file for SSD or SSI.
1. Do not call the national toll-free number for information about filing your claim. The best source of information about processing a disability application is the claims representative at your local Social Security office. There have been many instances reported in which individuals received inaccurate information from the toll-free number--you do not want any delay in processing your claim due to faulty instructions you have received (and complied with in good faith).
2. You have the option of filing your claim for disability online (for SSD not SSI), but again this probably is not the best option. Instead, call your local Social Security office and speak with a claims representative directly, so that you can ask any questions you may have and perhaps even get the name of someone who can be your “go-to” person should any questions arise in the future.
3. Remember that, should you be unable to travel to your local Social Security office due to transportation or health constraints, you can still have person-to-person contact with a claims representative over the phone. The rep will interview you, answer your questions, and then send you your paperwork by post to sign and return to the office.
4. Most importantly, keep in mind that if you are currently working full or part-time and earning the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount, you will not qualify for disability, regardless of the nature or severity of your impairment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets the SGA amount annually, and if you earn at least this much each month your claim will result in a technical denial.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials