Checking Your Disability Claim Status
It can be frustrating to wait for the decision on your disability benefits claim. The Social Security Administration typically decides within four to six months, though it is not uncommon to take longer. If your application has been denied twice and you have requested a hearing, the waiting can be much longer as long as two years or more. This is true whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income .
Youll want to check your Social Security Disability status every now and then. If youve been waiting for months, its reasonable to check every few days. This helps alleviate your worries and lets you know of any potential obstacle delaying your claim.
What Happens If Prices Continue To Rise
Many people are worried that prices for goods and services will continue to rise which is a valid concern. Unfortunately, the COLA adjustments are made only once per year, absent action by either Congress or the President. No one can predict what will happen in the future, but we hope that the current increase will be sufficient for the months going forward.
Assessing If Your Disability Causes You To Be Severely Impaired
Social Security will attempt to determine if your impairment is severe. To do this, they request and review your medical history and assess the facts. The officer in charge of your application may schedule a Consultative Examination and request that you fill out Activities of Daily Living and Vocational Questionnaires.
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Were There When You Get Your First Job
Every time you change jobs, your employer verifies your Social Security number with us. Doing so helps reduce fraud and improves the accuracy of your earnings records, ensuring you get the benefits you have earned.
Employers collect FICA, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act withholdings, and report earnings electronically to us. This is how we track your earnings and is how you earn Social Security retirement, disability, spouses, and survivors coverage for you and your family. A worker earns up to four Social Security credits each year and needs 40 credits, or 10 years of work, to qualify for retirement benefits. Its vital that you work at least 10 years to qualify for Social Security benefits to be based on your own work record.
Opening a free allows you to verify your earnings history and see if you will get Social Security retirement benefits. A secure also lets you estimate future benefits.
Disability Benefits For A Disabled Surviving Divorced Spouse
If you are disabled and divorced from a former spouse who has died, you may qualify for benefits as a surviving divorced spouse based on the deceased ex-spouses account.
Requirements for this program are much like the above criteria for a widow or widower, with the following major difference: the duration of marriage requirement is a minimum of 10 years.
Note: If you are divorced and remarry after a separation of one year or more, then the 10 years must be restarted. Example: You are married for 4 years, divorced for 2 years, and remarry the same person for another 6 years and get divorced again: While you may have been married to the same person for 10 years, you would not be an eligible surviving divorced spouse.
Note: The 10-year rule can be waived if you are still caring for a child from the marriage who is under the age of 16 or is disabled.
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Medical Conditions For Ssdi
The Social Security Administration has a narrow definition for disabled, and the conditions are judged by state agencies known as Disability Determination Services.
The principle conditions that must be met to receive benefits include:
- Unable to do the same work you did before you became disabled
- Unable to do other jobs
- Having a disability that is expected to last more than a year or lead to death
SSDI pays only for total disability. There are no SSDI benefits for partial or short-term disability.
The Social Security Administration reviews your initial application to see if it meets the basic requirements, then sends it to your states Disability Determination Services office. The office investigates and determines whether the medical evidence supports the disability claim. It considers evidence from doctors, hospitals, clinics or institutions that answer questions about your medical history, tests, treatments and your ability to do work-related activities like walking, sitting, lifting and remembering instructions.
After reviewing the evidence, the state agency decides if you qualify. If your claim is approved, you will be notified by letter, which will show the amount of benefits and when the payments will start. If you are denied, the letter will explain why and tell you how to appeal the decision. Again, 62 percent of first-time applicants are denied.
Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work
If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.
We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you are disabled. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.
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Adults Disabled Before Age 22
An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
The disabled “adult child” including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.
It is not necessary that the disabled “adult child” ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.
- A disabled “adult child” must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider “substantial” increases each year. In 2021, this means working and earning more than $1,310 a month.
You Do Not Need To Take Any Action To Convert Ssdi To Retirement Benefits
Your benefits will technically change from Social Security Disability Insurance to Social Security retirement benefits at the appropriate time.
There is no action that you must take. You will still receive your monthly check just as you always have.
You may not collect Social Security disability and retirement benefits at the same time.
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Va Disability Rating And Tdui
Disability ratings range from 10% to 100%. Next, it can be hard to earn a 100% disability rating when you have more than one disability. Fortunately, the VA provides an alternate route to total disability rating based on individual unemployability . The VA considers your ability not only get a job but also to keep a job. You meet the conditions for a TDUI rating if your disabilities prevent you from working and:
- You have a single service-connected rating or have a combined disability rating of 70%
What Documents And Information Do I Need
You will need to provide:
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What Application And Forms Do I Fill Out
You will need to fill out an Application for Disability form.
Then you will need to fill out a release form SSA-827. This form enables Social Security to request and access your medical information and history.
If you apply online in your account portal, you should be able to fill out both the Application for Disability and the SSA-827
Can I Get Social Security And Va Widows Benefits
Hello, i was getting widows pension from the VA on my late husband. He was in Military for over 18 years and was on Disability before his death. Hes been dead for over 20 years. I got widows pension for over one year. I worked most of my life. Prior i applied for SS disability, i got approved for SS disability. I went to VA and stopped Widows Pension.I have been getting SS disability checks for couple of months. I did not get my back pay, why? Are they keeping it because of Widows Pension. I called several times and they do not give me any answers. They are investigating now into it. Please give me any info on what you know. Thanks.
Your VA widows benefit would have no effect on your Social Security disability benefits.
Whether or not you are eligible for back pay from Social Security depends on your date of filing, and the date that you were determined to meet Social Securitys disability standards . Social Security disability benefits can be paid for up to 12 months prior to the month of filing, but entitlement doesnt start until a full 5 months after the established onset date.
For example, say John became disabled June 3, 2015, and files for disability benefits on July 2, 2016. If his claim is eventually approved with an established onset date of 6/3/2015, his 5 month waiting period would be July through November of 2015, and he would be entitled to disability benefits starting for December, 2015. Since John filed later than that, he would be due back pay.
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Getting Approved For Disability Benefits
While there may not be a concrete answer as to how long it takes for Social Security disability approval, there are ways to possibly speed up the process.
1. Consult a Lawyer
An attorney or advocate who specializes in Social Security disability cases knows exactly what you need in terms of documentation, evidence, and other resources to complete your application. Because they specialize in handling this sort of case, they can take the guesswork out of applying, which would otherwise slow down the process. Since 80% of all applicants have an attorney by the final stage, we recommend you start with one to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
2. Disability Seriousness
The CAL list shows conditions so severethey automatically meet the Social Security Administrations definition of disability. If your medical conditions on the CAL list, your application qualifies for faster review and approval. How long does it take for the SSA to process fast-tracked claims? For CAL list conditions, you can expect your claims review and approval to take about 30 days. Your first payment could arrive in as little as five weeks from your application date! About 8% of claims filed in the past year qualified for fast-tracking through either the CAL list or QDD process.
3. Provide Complete Information
Getting Help With Your Social Security And Va Disability Claims
Both Social Security and VA have complicated application processes. The process can be even tougher when Social Security or the VA issues a decision that completely ignores the evidence. Working with an experienced advocate helps increase your chances of getting approved. They know how to turn a loss into a win. An experienced advocate can analyze your case and help you receive maximum benefits. It helps to have knowledgeable experts on your side.
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Example: Social Security Hearing Decision Helps Establish Severity
Hence, a veteran applied for Social Security disability due to a lower back impairment, depression and anxiety. During the hearing, the veteran testified that he injured his back during his service. He could no longer perform his duties as a postal worker. As a result of his chronic pain and limitations, he developed significant depression and anxiety symptoms, requiring medication and therapy.
In his hearing decision, the judge explained that his lower back condition caused significant limitations with standing, walking and sitting. The judge also explained that his depression and anxiety symptoms caused significant problems concentrating. The veteran provided the VA a copy of the decision, which helped him qualify for TDUI.
If Your Spouse Also Worked Under Social Security
If your spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will always pay that amount first. But, if the spouses benefit that is payable on your record is a higher amount, they will get a combination of the two benefits that equals the higher amount.
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Information About Family Members
- Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for benefits and
- Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages, if applicable.
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.
Who Is Eligible To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits
To qualify for disability benefits, the following must apply to you
- Must have a condition that meets the criteria of a Blue Book listing
- Have hard medical evidence to support your claim
- Either have the credits to qualify for SSDI benefits or the meet the SSI financial criteria
The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book. The Blue Book has sections that cover different bodily systems, and each section has listings for applicable conditions. Each condition has specific medical criteria that must be met for a claim to be approved per that specific listing.
To qualify for SSDI, you must have enough work credits to be covered by the program. To qualify for SSI, you must meet the financial criteria as far as income and assets go.
If you do not meet the criteria of a listing, you can still qualify for disability benefits through a medical vocational allowance. This approach takes your medical conditions, age, work history, and other details into consideration. A residual functional capacity form completed by your treating physician can be beneficial to the outcome of your disability claim and can help show that your claim meets the criteria for approval.
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Benefits For Your Children
When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.
To receive benefits, the child must:
- Be unmarried.
- Be under age 18 or
- Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student or
Appeals And Legal Advocates
Do not be discouraged if you have to appeal your claim for SSDI benefits. You are in the majority. Only 38 percent of first-time applications are approved, meaning 62 percent are denied. The appeals process requires great attention to detail and deadlines. The rules and procedures governing SSDI can be very complicated and confusing. Having an advocate, someone who can help you deal with the paperwork and deadlines involved in the process, is not required, but can be very helpful.
There are four levels in the appeals process: reconsideration hearing appeals council and federal court. It is a step-by-step process, meaning you begin with reconsideration and only move on to the next level if your appeal is denied. If you win your appeal at any step along the way, you will begin receiving benefits.
You can handle your own Social Security appeal or choose a lawyer or friend to help. That person is called a representative and cant collect a fee from you without first getting written approval from Social Security.
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How To Check Social Security Appeal Status Or Hearing Status
If you are in the process of appealing your application, you can also check your disability appeal status through the methods described above.
In particular, if you are waiting for the schedule of your hearing with an Administrative Law Judge , you can expect a notice by mail that informs you of your hearing date and venue. If you havent received the written notice, you can check using the methods described above, unless your file has already been transferred to an appeals office. In this case, you will want to contact the Office of Hearings Operations to which your file has been forwarded.