Disability process to win SSDI benefits from the SSA
SSDI and the disability process
The disability process is very difficult. Claimants frequently struggle weeks or months to get benefits frustrated that after all of their struggles they are often denied benefits and must start again. So what is the process you need to take to win Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?
What are the first step in the disability process?
Many SSDI claimants believe the first step in the disability process is to file a SSDI application; but in fact, there are several things you need to do prior to submitting your SSDI application.
1. Go to the doctor and make sure your medical records clearly state your diagnosis, your prognosis, whether your condition will last 12 continuous months and you do not have the ability to work.
2. Make sure you meet the nonmedical requirements of SSDI. If you do not have enough work credits to be insured, if you are working and making too much money or if your condition is considered a short-term condition there is no need to apply for SSDI. The SSA will not even pull your medical records. They will simply deny your case.
After you have completed the first two steps you need to do research to understand what the SSA considers a disability and what conditions and symptoms they will automatically approve. The first place to look is the SSA Listing of Impairments which is a list of common conditions and their corresponding symptoms that the SSA considers automatically disabling.
What if your condition is on the SSA Listing of Impairments?
Its time to take another good look at your medical records and make sure they clearly indicate that your symptoms are as severe as the symptoms on the listing. After you have done all the above, the next step in the disability process is to apply for benefits.
3. Submit your application to the SSA. Do not call the SSA and request an application. This could take months. Simply go to their website at www.ssa.gov and file an online application. You should receive a confirmation number which can be used throughout the process to check on the status of your application on the same website.
What if my application is denied?
If is not unusual for most applications to be denied. If your case is denied the next step in the disability process is to see if you can file an appeal. All appeals must be done within 60 days from the date of your denial letter.
4. Submit a reconsideration (the first step in the disability appeals process)
5. Request an administration hearing.
If you are denied a second time you will have 60 days to file for an administrative hearing. Unfortunately, due to the back log at many administrative hearing offices getting a hearing can take months.
Most claimants talk to a disability lawyer if they have a hearing scheduled with a law judge. The good news is the hearing will be your best chance throughout the entire disability process to win SSDI benefits.