How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What is the Process to be Approved for SSD or SSI Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Disability process is a multi-level one. It starts with the claimant contacting the social security administration. This can take the form of the claimant initiating their disability claim through the SSA website, calling the SSA toll free line, or by contacting their local social security office.

The recommended method is really to contact your nearest social security office. Why? Because the staffers at the toll free line are somewhat famous for dispensing incorrect information and the online process developed by the social security administration has flaws, such as the fact that while a bonafide Social Security Disability claim can be started online, an SSI claim cannot.

The website may give the appearance that an SSI claim is being filed, but in actuality the online process does not offer protective filing dates for SSI claims. And this is important because it gives the claimant a starting point for the payment of back pay. Note: recent information indicates that SSA is making it possible to file a bonafide SSI claim online.

Additionally, contacting the local social security office makes a lot of sense since A) many claimants will have questions that the teleclaims center and the website will not be able to answer and B) in most cases when a claim is started via the teleclaims center or the website, the social security office will still need to contact the claimant to resolve an issue or gather information.

And, after all, since the case will be assigned to a CR (claims representative) at the social security office, it makes perfect sense to speak with this individual from the very beginning.

Contacting the social security administration is the first step. What happens next is that social security will set up an appointment time for a disability application interview.

At this interview, the claimant will be asked to provide identification information (such as a birth certificate) and information regarding workman's compensation and prior military service (if these things are applicable). However, these are simply non-medical requirement issues. The most important information that the claimant will need to provide at the disability application interview will be:

1) Information regarding the claimant's work history.

2) Information regarding the claimant's medical treatment history.

With regard to the claimant's work history, the claimant will not need to provide a listing of every job they have ever done, but, instead, will need to provde a listing of every job they have done in the last 15 years prior to becoming disabled. This list will only include jobs that the claimant performed long enough to learn (therefore, any job that the claimant left before completing the training period would not need to be included.

With regard to the medical treatment history, the claimant should provide a list of all their medical treatment sources. This would include all their doctors and hospitals. It should also include where the facility is located, what type of treatment was provided there, what was diagnosed, and when the claimant was last seen at a particular hospital or doctor's office.

Is it important for the claimant to list all older and current medical treatment sources? Yes, and this is because when the social security administration evaluates medical evidence, they are looking to determine two different things:

A) Is the claimant currently disabled? Meaning in the here and now. Only current medical records can establish this.

B) How far back does the disability go? Only older medical records can establish the disability onset date.

And this, of course, underscores the importance of providing Social Security with all known treatment sources since this will make it more likely for the earliest possible onset date to be established (which impacts how much back pay may be owed), as well as establishing whether or not an individual is presently disabled.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How does social security decide your disability claim?
Social Security Disability is different from VA disability
Is Chronic Fatigue considered a disability by Social Security?
SSDI Request for Reconsideration
Tips for Social Security Disability Psychological and mental testing
Working and getting Disability
Contacting Social Security about the status of your disability claim
How to qualify for disability with depression
Determining Social Security Disability and SSI eligibility
What Forms Do You Use to File For Social Security Disability?
Disability attorneys and RFC forms
If you apply for disability in in Oklahoma
If you apply for disability in West Virginia
If you apply for disability in in Iowa

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.