Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits involves a thorough and often complex process. The process can be time-consuming, and many applicants seek legal help from disability attorneys to navigate the complexities and improve their chances of approval. 

The application process for Social Security Disability benefits involves several steps:

  • Preparation: Gather necessary information, including medical records, work history, and personal details.
  • Online Application: Visit the Social Security Administration’s website to complete the online disability application. You can also apply in person at a local Social Security office or over the phone.
  • Medical Documentation: Provide detailed medical records supporting your disability claim. This includes documentation of your medical condition, treatments, and how it affects your ability to work.
  • Work History: Submit information about your work history, including job descriptions and your previous positions’ physical or mental demands. (Learn more on how many work credits you require for SSDI)
  • Disability Determination Services (DDS): The SSA sends your case to DDS, a state agency that evaluates your medical evidence and determines whether you meet the disability criteria.
  • Decision Notification: You will receive a letter indicating whether your disability claim is approved or denied. If denied, you have the right to appeal.
  • Appeal Process: If your claim is denied, you can request reconsideration, attend a hearing before an administrative law judge, and further appeal to the Appeals Council and federal court if necessary.

How Do You Check The Disability Application Status?

Checking the status of your disability application involves contacting the Social Security Administration (SSA). Some mediums on which you can check are as follows:

  • Online: Visit the SSA’s official website and log in to your mySocialSecurity account. You can check the status, receive updates, and see any letters or decisions related to your application.
  • Phone: Call the SSA at their toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Speak with a representative and provide your Social Security number for information on your application status.
  • Local Office: Visit your local Social Security office in person. Bring identification and any relevant documentation. Staff at the office can provide updates on your application.

Remember that the disability determination process can take time, and it’s common for applications to undergo careful review. If you’re facing delays or have concerns, contacting the SSA for updates is a proactive step. (Learn more about How to apply for the disability benefits?)

How Can An Attorney Make a Difference In Your Disability Application Process?

An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can significantly impact your application process by navigating the complexities of the Social Security system. They can ensure your case is well-documented, gather necessary medical evidence, and fight for your rights during appeals if your claim is denied.

FAQs On Disability Application

The time it takes to receive a decision on your disability benefits application can vary. It typically ranges from a few months to over a year. Factors like the complexity of your case, the need for additional medical evidence, and the number of applications in your area contribute to the duration.
The Disability Update Report, also known as the Continuing Disability Review (CDR), is a form used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assess whether individuals receiving disability benefits continue to meet the criteria for disability. You may complete it online through the SSA's official website.
The SSA administers Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) but serves different purposes. Social Security benefits are based on work history and contributions to the Social Security system. At the same time, SSI provides financial assistance to individuals with limited income and resources, regardless of work history. (Get detailed insights on SSDI v/s SSI)
SGA is a term the SSA uses to determine eligibility for disability benefits. It refers to the level of work activity considered substantial and gainful. If an individual is engaging in work activities that exceed the SGA threshold, they may be ineligible for or may see a reduction in disability benefits. The SGA amount is reviewed and adjusted annually.