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How To File Disability?

Last updated: April 12, 2023

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal government program that assists persons with impairments who meet certain criteria. You or certain family members may be eligible for benefits.

Only 22% of first benefit applications are approved, which is unfortunate. We'll go through eligibility requirements, filing options, how to build your case, and other crucial aspects of the Social Security disability benefits application process to help you improve your chances.

Qualification Criteria

In general, you must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the SSA's Disability Insurance program:

Worked long enough to qualify for Social Security: Depending on your age, you may need to have worked anywhere from 1.5 to 9.5 years to be eligible.

Have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to work: For at least 12 months, you must be unable to do basic work duties (lifting, standing, remembering, etc.) or have a terminal illness.

Filing for Disability

When it comes to filing the claim, there are two options for submitting a claim for disability benefits, filling out an application on the internet or visiting your local Social Security office in person to apply. To fill out the online form, you can visit the Social Security Administration's website.

If you cannot complete the application online, you may do so by phoning SSA’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays. SSA agents can schedule an appointment for you to submit your application.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can reach the SSA by using their toll-free "TTY" line, 1-800-325-0778, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to receive assistance.

Keep Good Records and Be Consistent

It's critical to keep a personal journal of your experiences to develop a case for disability compensation. If possible, you can then visit specialists and doctors to obtain signed letters attesting to your condition.

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) team relies solely on evidence reported by doctors and others who have examined or treated you to evaluate whether your illness fulfills the SSA’s definition of impairment. To offer your disability examiner a comprehensive and accurate picture, you must be consistent with arranging, receiving, and following up with medical treatments.

The SSA estimates that processing your disability claim will take three to five months; hence if better to start early and don't be discouraged if your first application isn't accepted. You can still appeal your benefits through four levels.

Visit our blog section to learn more about filing for disabilities benefits. Need tips for filing disability? Visit our article regarding the topic.

Do You Qualify?
Disability Evaluation
Chloe Powers
Chloe works with policymakers on behalf of Disability Help to support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organizations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change.
Do You Qualify?
Disability Evaluation
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