Obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is often tricky and frustrating, but if you have the right help, it is possible.
If you are suffering from a chronic condition, here are some common questions and answers about SSDI to help you get started.
1. Am I eligible for SSDI?
You can apply for SSDI if you are:
- Not already receiving Social Security benefits
- Over 18 years of age
- Unable to work due to a long-term medical condition
- Denied Social Security benefits within the last 60 days
2. How do I apply?
You can apply online, call the Social Security Administration, or contact the nearest SSA office directly. Before you hurry to apply, be sure you have the following information on hand:
- Your Social Security number
- Information about current and former spouses, including names, SSNs and dates of birth, marriage, divorce or death
- Names and birthdates of your children
- In-depth information about your health
- Your work and military discharge history
- Income from last year and this year, including workers’ compensation and other government benefits
3. How long does the claims process take?
After you apply for SSDI, there is a one-month waiting period. Approval and denial decision times vary for each application, but the average wait time is between three and five months. If you receive claim approval, payments will begin sometime after the sixth full month of disability.
4. What can I do if I am denied?
If you receive a claim denial, you can appeal the decision and have your case reviewed again. After a second denial, you can attend a hearing with a judge who will hear your reasons for why you believe your claim warrants benefits.
Knowing a little about the SSDI claims process can help things go smoother as you work toward receiving benefits.