How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Photo of a Social Security OfficeYou may often read stories about disabled peoples in the newspapers, but I guess you never think that something similar can happen to you. Actually, that’s why, this is disability and most often, no one likes to think about it.

However, if you are somehow disabled from your work or just want to know about the disability benefits, read on to learn about what social security disability (SSD) benefit is, how to apply for it, and the requirements to get an approval.

In addition, you need to know that the United States SSA (Social Security Administration) pays disability benefit via two programs:
  1. The SSD insurance program
  2. The SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program

What is Social Security Disability Benefit?

This benefit is a social security for the people who have worked for a certain period of time and regularly paid Social Security taxes. Under this benefit, if you are somehow fallen in a medical condition and unable to continue your job or work for at least a year or more, you will get a monthly SSD payment after submitting an SSD application. This monthly payment will go on as long as you are unable to work. However, to get this benefit, you need to be eligible under the U.S. federal law.

How to Apply for Disability

Social Security Disability Benefit ApplicationThis could be a big question for you, if you are applying for the first time. But you need to know that the application process is really simple. There are two ways for applying in a SSD benefit. You can either apply online just by visiting the Official Website of the SSA or by making an appointment at your local social security office. But if you want to apply online right now, visit this page of SSA. It will guide you to the necessary pages to file an online application. In addition, you need to know that you will go through a series of steps to apply for a SSD benefit.

The SSA application review process can take up to 3-5 months to finish the review process and give an approval for your claim. For this reason, it is better that you must file a disability benefit application as soon as you become disabled.

How Your Application will be evaluated?

How Your Application will be evaluated
After filing your initial claim for disability benefit, the Social Security office will review your initial claim to check that your medical records supporting your disability and you have worked enough to be eligible for the SSD benefit. If the Social Security office finds satisfactory answers from your provided document, they will then transfer your claim to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) department for a complete and final review. The DDS department holds the authority for making the final decision of approval or rejection after completing a through review.

The DDS office will reevaluate your application along with your medical records and other information transferred by the Social Security office. The purpose of this secondary review is to evaluate that you are actually disabled and you need financial support. The examiner of this department will check that the provided medical documents supporting your medical condition and the condition is actually suggested to last for at least twelve months or more. If the examiners feel that they need some more information or the provided medical records aren’t enough to verify your disability, they may request you for a consultative exam. However, this exam is not limited to one; sometimes the examiner may request for more than one consultative exam. In addition, if the DDS office, however, requests you for a consultative exam, make sure that you are carrying your disability aids.

The DDS office will collect all the necessary information required to review your claim and when all the information is gathered and reviewed, they will make a decision of approval or denial for your application. However, you need to know that more than 65% of initial disability benefit claims are denied. So, if the DDS office somehow rejects your social security disability application, be ready to appeal against the decision of Disability Determination Services.

Image Source
Public domain, via socialsecurity.gov
Public domain, via SSA
Public domain, via socialsecurity.gov

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