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SSDI Application (Massachusetts) In 2023: What You Should Know

Last updated: November 12, 2023

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is a federal program in the United States that provides financial assistance to individuals who cannot work due to a long-term disability. The program is funded through payroll taxes and administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

As of 2021, approximately 8.2 million disabled workers were receiving SSDI benefits in the United States. The number of people applying for SSDI benefits can vary each year, but the number of applications has been declining in recent years. 

Let's look at the SSDI Application (Massachusetts) in 2023, including the requirements and eligibility criteria.

Overview Of SSDI Application (Massachusetts)

The SSDI application process in Massachusetts is similar to the process in other states, as SSDI is a federal program administered by the SSA. 

Here's a quick overview of the SSDI application process in Massachusetts:

1. Gathering Required Documentation

Before starting the application, gather all necessary personal, medical, and work-related information. This may include your Social Security number, birth certificate, contact information for your doctors and medical facilities, a list of medications, laboratory test results, and detailed work history.

2. Choosing The Application Method

In Massachusetts, you can apply for SSDI benefits online, by phone, or in person at a local Social Security office.

  • Online: Visit the SSA's website and complete the online application for disability benefits. This method is generally the most convenient and efficient way to apply.
  • Phone: Call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing) to apply over the phone. You can also schedule an appointment for a phone interview.
  • In-person: Visit your local Social Security office to apply in person. It is advisable to call ahead and confirm the office's hours and if you need to set an appointment beforehand.

3. Complete And Submit The Application

Fill out the application form and provide all necessary documentation. Be thorough and accurate in describing your medical condition and work history to increase the likelihood of a successful application.

4. Application Review

After submitting your application, the SSA will review your information to determine your eligibility. This may include contacting your healthcare providers for additional information or arranging a consultative examination.

5. Decision Notification

Once your application has been reviewed, the SSA will send you a written notice of its decision. This process can take several months.

6. Appeal (If Necessary)

If your initial application is denied, you can appeal the decision. There are four levels of appeal: 

  • Reconsideration
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge 
  • Filing a lawsuit in federal court

It is essential to adhere to the deadlines for each level of appeal, which are usually 60 days from the date of the denial notice.

While the application process is generally the same throughout the United States, local resources in Massachusetts, such as disability advocacy groups and legal aid organizations, may provide additional support and guidance during the application process.

Understanding The Eligibility Requirements In Massachusets

The eligibility requirements for SSDI in Massachusetts are also the same as in any other state. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, applicants must meet the following requirements:

1. Disability Criteria

The applicant must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

The impairment must be severe enough to prevent the applicant from performing any substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2023, SGA is defined as earning more than $1,470 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,460 per month for blind individuals.

2. Work Credits

Applicants must have earned sufficient work credits throughout their employment history. Work credits are based on the applicant's yearly wages or self-employment income, with a maximum of four credits earned annually.

The number of work credits required depends on the applicant's age at the time of disability onset. Generally, younger applicants need fewer credits than older applicants. For example, if you become disabled before age 24, you need six credits earned three years before disability onset.

3. Insured Status

Applicants must be insured under the Social Security program at the time of disability onset, meaning they have earned enough work credits within a certain period before becoming disabled. This is known as the "recent work" test or the "duration of work" test, depending on the applicant's age.

4. Listing Of Impairments

The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions known as the "Blue Book," which contains impairments considered severe enough to qualify for disability benefits. While having a condition listed in the Blue Book does not guarantee benefits, it can help streamline the approval process.

5. Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

If the applicant's impairment is not included in the Blue Book or does not meet the specific criteria, the SSA will assess their Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). The RFC considers the applicant's remaining ability to perform work-related activities despite their limitations. If the RFC shows that the applicant cannot perform their past work or any other work, they may still be eligible for SSDI benefits.

The Takeaway On SSDI Application (Massachusetts)

Overall, SSDI benefits aim to provide financial support and stability to disabled workers and their families, with additional resources and incentives to help beneficiaries return to work when possible.

SSDI benefits are paid monthly, with payments usually starting the sixth full month after the date the disability began. There is a mandatory waiting period of five full months before benefits can begin.

If you wish to read more about social security resources that can help you, check out this Disability Help blog about Social Security Disability Judges Approval Rates.

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Victor Traylor
An expert to the field of Social Justice, Victor formed Disability Help to connect ideas and expertise from the US with rising global cultural leadership, building networks, fostering collaboration, long-term results, mutual benefit, and more extensive international perception.
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