Many disability claimants applying for disability from the Social Security Administration ask, “What do I do next in the disability process?” Unfortunately, they don’t tell me what they have already done so I have no idea what is their next step get either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
So, let’s talk about the first five steps to start your disability claim and what you can do to make sure that the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income claim is processed as fast as possible.
1. Make sure you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Many claimants apply over and over again without first determining if they even qualify for a SSA disability program.
What are some things to consider? Find out if you have enough work credits for the Social Security Disability Insurance program. If you do not, it will not matter how disabled you are, you will not be approved for SSDI benefits. Evaluate whether or not you have medical evidence that proves you cannot work for at least 12 continuous months; if you do not, you will be denied for both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
2. Go to the doctor.
This seems to be a step which is skipped by many claimants. Whether or not you have insurance, the SSA will expect you to have good medical evidence to support any condition you have listed on your SSDI or SSI application.
3. Give the Social Security Administration accurate information.
Claimants consistently provide inaccurate information to the Social Security Administration. Years ago, before the advent of the personal computer and the internet, this may have been understandable. Getting accurate information was difficult, but if you do not have accurate contact information for your treating sources get online and get it. Do not expect the Social Security Administration to do all of the leg work.
4. Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
If you have compiled all of your contact information and gathered all the information the SSA has stated you will need to apply for benefits, it is time to contact the SSA and apply for disability. This can be done online at www.ssa.gov or by contacting the Social Security Administration via telephone at 1-800-772-1213.
5. Wait patiently.
After you submit the Social Security Disability Insurance or the Supplemental Security Income application and you have verified it has been received by the SSA, it is time to wait. It can take 90 to 120 days to hear back from the SSA. Be patient. There are over a million applicants each year.
These are just the first five most important steps to take to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Unfortunately, up to 70% of claimants are denied at the application level, and if you are denied, there are several more steps you will have to take immediately. Review our recent blog, “How Long is reconsideration and do I need a disability lawyer?” for more information about your next steps.
- Denied disability by the Social Security Admnistration but I am disabled (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- Social Security Administration disability- how difficult is the process? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- A disability lawyer…Can I fire them? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)