How to Apply for SSDI Benefits

The application process for applying for a Social Security Disability Insurance benefit (SSDI) is very straightforward and convenient. Before applying, the SSA may need you to provide information such as your birth certificate, W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for the last year, an Adult Disability Report and medical evidence of your disability. Once you have all of your paperwork in order, you can apply for SSDI from the convenience of your home online at the SSA’s website at any time.

What Qualifies as a Disability for SSDI?

When it comes to eligibility for a social security benefit through SSDI, the SSA defines disability as the inability to take part in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to a physical or mental impairment diagnosed by a physician, recognized by the SSA in their Blue Book list.

This disability is expected to either result in death or last for a continuous period of no less than twelve months. You will only qualify for a benefit if your medical condition meets the SSA’s definition.

There are some clear examples of medical conditions which are commonly eligible for SSDI which are cancer, neuropathy, and spinal fusion. Conditions related to the heart, like high blood pressure, blood clots and heart failure, malignant neoplastic diseases, hematological disorders, genitourinary impairments, and much more.

What Documents Do I Need To Apply For a Social Security Disability Benefit?

There are several documents that the SSA will require when you submit your application for a SSD benefit. These include:

  • birth certificate or other evidence of your birth;
  • proof of U.S. citizenship or legal alien status if you were not born in the USA; 
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had taken part in military service prior to 1968;
  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for the last year;
  • an Adult Disability Report that has the details about your illnesses, injuries or conditions, and your work history.

On top of these documents you will need to provide evidence that proves you are disabled and unable to work. This includes a physician’s report, medical reports, the most recent medical test results such as an MRI scan and X-rays that show the presence of your medical condition. You should name where your medical condition is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book.

Is it Hard to Qualify for a SSDI Benefit?

Depending on your condition, it can be hard to obtain a SSDI benefit. Approximately 70% of initial SSDI claims are denied every year.  Fortunately, if your disability claim is denied you have the right to appeal the SSA’s decision.

It is better to gather all the evidence proving your disability is provided at the time of your application. This will help to avoid the need to go through the appeals’ process. There will be less delay in your application if you have provided the following information with your application:

  • workers’ compensation information (if applicable), including, injury date, claim number and the settlement agreement;
  • names and dates of birth of your spouse and any minor children and your spouse;
  • marriage and divorce dates;
  • checking or savings account number, including the bank’s 9-digit routing number, if you want Direct Deposit for your benefit checks;
  • name, address, and phone number of a person who can be contacted if you are not available.  

To help support your SSDI application you should add the following information:

  • name and contact details of someone the SSA can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can assist with your application;
  • detailed facts about your medical condition;
  • names and contact details of all doctors and medical facilities that have treated you and the dates;
  • names of medications you have been prescribed and who prescribed them;
  • dates and names of any medical tests you have had and the name of the doctor who sent you to have the tests. 

How Much Benefit is Paid Per Month?

The maximum amount for a SSDI benefit that you can get is $3,148 per month in 2021. SSDI payments range on average between $800 and $1,800 per month. There are no limits on what you can spend your benefit on as what you receive is based on your employment history and what you have paid in payroll tax. However, you should spend this money sensibly on important essentials like housing, including adaption of house to suit your disability, food, utility payments and everyday living costs.

How to Start the SSDI Application Process

It is quite a simple process to file an SSDI application as most of it is done online through the SSA’s website. You can start and stop at anytime.

Once you have finished submitting your initial SSDI application, you should hear back from the SSA with a decision within 3 to 5 months from the filing date.  The key to a successful outcome is to ensure you provide all the necessary medical evidence which proves you are disabled and your disability will persist for at least twelve months and any other information requested by the SSA on their website.

Get Help Today

If you need help applying for SSDI, a disability lawyer can help you file your SSDI claim. The lawyer may ensure you provide enough evidence to prove that your disability is severe, and you are unable to work for at least 12 months. He or she may go through your application carefully before you submit it to the SSA. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation above to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website today.

Additional Resources

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