How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security disability (SSDI) can provide essential income and access to medical care for those who qualify. But, the process can be complicated and discouraging. The more you know in advance about how the process works and what is expected of you, the better.
This post provides an overview of how to apply for Social Security disability benefits. If you need additional information or assistance, a Social Security Disability Advocate can be your best resource.
When and How to Start Your SSDI Application
The best time to apply for Social Security disability benefits is as soon as you become disabled. For most disabilities, you won’t be eligible for benefits until your sixth month of disability. But, the process can take time. Even if you are approved at the initial application stage, it can take three to six months. So, don’t delay.
The best way to submit your application is online–online applications move more quickly, and you’ll have the opportunity to stop the process if necessary to gather information or just take a break. You can easily return to your saved application later. If you’re unable to apply online, you may call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 800-772-1213.
What You’ll Need for Your Social Security Disability Benefits Application
The SSA will need information about your work history, your medical condition, and your daily activities and limitations to make a decision on your application. The SSA makes some materials available to help you make sure you have all of the information you need for your application, such as this medical and work history worksheet. Gathering this information in advance is especially important if you will be making your application over the phone.
What To Expect After You Apply for Disability Benefits
It typically takes three to six months to receive a determination on your initial application for Social Security disability benefits. If your initial application is denied, don’t be discouraged. The approval rate is low at the initial application stage, but many of those applicants go on to receive benefits at a later stage in the process.
Learn How a Social Security Disability Advocate Can Help
An experienced advocate can help ensure that your application is complete, that you’ve provided the right documentation, and that you haven’t made mistakes that could delay or derail your claim. The earlier you get knowledgeable guidance, the better.
If you’ve already filed and your claim has been denied, we can help with that, too. Call (800) 800-2009 to learn more about how we can put our experience to work for you.