Thursday, June 16, 2022

What You Need To Apply For Social Security Disability

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If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment

Social Security Disability Application- What do I need?

If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it.

If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:

If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.

Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.

What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied

After waiting for months for approval of your SSDI benefits application, a denial of your claim is truly devastating. Sadly, the majority of first-time applicants face this exact situation.

If your SSDI benefits claim was denied, you have 60 days to appeal. At this point it is in your interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Social Security Disability benefits claims are complex, and appealing a decision is no exception. You need an experienced attorney who understands the procedures for appeal and acts promptly to ensure you have every chance to get the benefits you deserve.

How Do You Qualify For Ssdi

To qualify for SSDI, you need to meet some basic requirements.

  • You must have earned a sufficient number of work credits.

Work credits are basically points you accumulate by earning, and paying Social Security taxes on, a certain amount of money. In 2018, you earn one work credit for every $1,320 in wages or self-employment income. You can earn four credits per year, so once you’ve earned $5,280 in taxable income in a year, you can’t earn any more credits until the next year.

The specific number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI will vary depending how old you are when you become disabled. As a general rule, you can potentially qualify if you’ve earned at least 20 credits in the 10 years prior to becoming disabled and if you’ve earned a total of 40 credits or more.

However, if you’re younger when you become disabled, the work credit requirement is reduced based on age. For example, if you’re under 24 when you become disabled, you can become eligible for SSDI if you’ve earned at least six work credits in the three year period before your disability occurs.

If you’re between the ages of 24 and 31, you can qualify if you’ve earned work credits at least half the time between age 21 and the time you develop your disability. If you’re between the ages of 31 and 62, there’s a chart showing the number of credits you need.

  • You cannot be engaged in substantial gainful activity
  • You have to meet the definition of disabled
  • You must be unable to do any job you’re qualified for

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Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby

The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.

Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:

  • Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
  • Open a bank account in their name
  • Get medical coverage for them
  • Apply for government services for them

Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.

The Disability Application Process

What is the difference between Social Security Disability ...

Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:

  • You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
  • You complete and submit your application.
  • We review your application to make sure you meet some for disability benefits.
  • We check whether you worked enough years to qualify.
  • We evaluate any current work activities.
  • We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
  • This State agency makes the disability determination decision.

To learn more about who decides if you are disabled, read our publication .

Once You’ve Applied

Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed

Look For Our Response

Youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.

Check The Status

You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Appeal A Decision

  • Reconsideration.

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Supplemental Security Income Application Process And Applicants’ Rights


We strongly recommend you check the eligibility requirements for SSI before you start your application or contact us to make an appointment. If you are unsure you may qualify after reading these requirements, call us at 1-800-772-1213 .

You can apply for SSI benefits by:

    Visiting our Apply Online for Disability Benefits website to start the disability application process online. You may be eligible to apply for SSI through the online disability application.

    Having someone else call and make the appointment for you or assist you with your application for SSI. For more information, see our chapter on HOW SOMEONE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR SSI or

You will have to provide information and work with us to get documents concerning SSI eligibility.


Apply as soon as possible so that you do not lose benefits. We cannot pay benefits for time periods earlier than the effective date of your application.

If you call us to make an appointment to apply and you file an application within 60 days, we may use the date of your call as your application filing date.

If you are in a public institution but you will be leaving within a few months, you may not be eligible for SSI until you leave. You may, however, be able to apply before you leave so that SSI benefits can begin quickly after you leave. Check with the institution and contact us about filing an application under the “prerelease procedure.”

Disability Application Checklist Item #: Your Bank Account Information

This information allows the SSA to see if you meet the programs income requirements. But they also use this information to direct-deposit your monthly benefit payments. So if they approve your claim, theyll need your bank routing and account numbers. In addition, they might ask for other financial information, such as recent pay stubs or bank statements.

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When Your Benefits Start

Generally, if your application for Social Security Disability Insurance is approved, you must wait five months before you can receive your first SSDI benefit payment. This means you would receive your first payment in the sixth full month after the date we find that your disability began.

Example: Your disability began on June 15, 2020 and you applied on July 1, 2020. Your first benefit would be paid for the month of December 2020, the sixth full month of disability.

However, there is no waiting period if your disability results from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and you are approved for SSDI benefits on or after July 23, 2020.

Example: We found that your disability began on November 3, 2020 and you applied on January 11, 2021. We would pay your first benefit for the month of December 2020, the first full month of disability.

We pay SSDI benefits in the month following the month for which they are due. This means that the benefit due for December 2020 would be paid to you in January 2021, and so on.

If Your Application Is Denied

What you need when applying for Social Security disability benefits

After we review your application and the information you provided, we may decide you do not meet the qualifications for disability benefits.

If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to ask us to look at your application again. The notice you receive from us that says you don’t qualify will explain how to appeal our decision and the time period in which you must make the request.

If we decide you don’t qualify:

  • Because you are not disabled under our rules, you can appeal our decision online.

    The online disability report will ask you for updated information about your medical condition and any treatment, tests, or doctor visits since we made our decision.

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Disability Application Checklist Item #: Your Employment Information

The SSA wants information showing every place you worked in the past 15 years. Be sure to include copies of your latest W2 or tax forms. This disability report form is also required. It details your job titles, employment dates, salary, and work responsibilities. Before the SSA approves you for disability benefits, they want to check and ensure you can no longer perform your previous job tasks. If you cant, theyll try to find you another job that pays a similar monthly wage before they award you benefits.

Musculoskeletal System And Connective Tissue

The SSA reports that the largest category of diagnoses among disabled workers receiving disability benefits was diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. These disabilities, which represented 32.3 percent of the diagnoses, involve damage to ones nerves, muscles, tendons or ligaments. Examples of this type of disorder include:

  • ArthritisAn individual with rheumatoid arthritis, a disorder of the immune system, must experience significant limits on his or her ability to work to qualify for benefits under this medical diagnosis. Rheumatoid arthritis is sometimes referred to as a connective tissue disorder.
  • Back pain Abnormal curvature of the spine may affect an individuals ability to walk as well as the function of other body systems. The intensity of back pain and the limitations on an individuals ability to function are considered in a disability diagnosis related to back pain.
  • FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a complex syndrome in which a person has widespread pain in the joints, tendons, muscles and soft tissues that lasts for more than three months. Claims reviewers will try to assess whether there is adequate evidence to show that the condition limits a persons ability to perform any type of gainful work.
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy RSD describes a range of symptoms that may occur from injury, diseases or surgery. RSD is characterized by intense burning or aching pain typically caused by trauma to a single extremity.

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Social Security Disability Insurance Protective Filing Fate Process

A signed written notice of your intent to apply for SSDI benefits must be provided. You can also have someone else contact Social Security on your behalf to disclose your intent to apply for SSDI.

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Your protective filing date can be established online through the same application process above, or by calling Social Security and having a representative document the date. You have six months to complete the application from your protective filing date. Once approved, you may be eligible for past-due benefits up to 12 months before the protective filing date.

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How To Receive Federal Benefits

Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits Online, Florida

To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.

If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

  • Call the Go Direct Helpline at .

If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:

Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.

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Apply For The Wrong Program

Some applicants for SSDI benefits confuse SSDI with another program called Supplemental Security Income . Working with a Social Security disability lawyer can help you avoid this mistake.

SSI represents a program that helps adults and children that have low incomes and limited resources by sending monthly payments. SSDI provides compensation for American workers that cannot work because of a disabling medical condition.

Benefits For Disabled Widows Or Widowers

If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:

  • The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
  • The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets the definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.

Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. However, if they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment

To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.

We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.

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How Much Can You Receive In Supplemental Security Income

The monthly income you’ll receive from SSI is typically lower than the monthly benefit you’d get from SSDI. It’s not based on past wages but is instead a fixed amount based on the federal benefit rate.

As of 2018, the monthly maximum SSI benefit is $750 for eligible individuals and $1,125 for couples.

Contact Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Today

What you need to apply for Social Security Disability, SSI

The Karl Truman Law Office has extensive experience handling a wide variety of disability claims and appeals. If you are unable to work due to an injury or illness, our team can help.

Please call for service in Louisville and other areas of Kentucky. Or, if you live in Indiana, call to contact us in Jeffersonville. Your initial consultation is free.

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How Does The Application Process Work

When you provide details about your medical condition to the SSA, your local Social Security office reviews your basic information to see if you could potentially qualify based on income and work history.

Your file is then sent off to a disability claims examiner who will review all of your medical documentation. The claims examiner will make a decision on your case, and you’ll be notified via mail whether your claim has been approved or denied. It usually takes around a month to 90 days to receive the decision on your application.

What Are The Requirements For Social Security Disability Insurance

The qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance are more rigorous than those for SSI. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Worked in a job covered by Social Security
  • Worked in that job for 5 of the past 10 years*
  • Have a medical condition that prevents you from working and renders you disabled

*The most common factor that disqualifies SSDI applicants is not having worked five of the last ten years. However, even if you do not meet the Social Securitys requirements for SSDI benefits, you may still be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income . Keep in mind that “5 of the past 10 years” is just a rule of thumb, and you may not need to have worked as long to qualify if you are younger.

For example, a younger adult who becomes paralyzed will not be expected to work as long as a 60-year-old adult. Depending on your age and how many work credits you’ve earned, you may only need to have 1.5 years of work under your belt to qualify for SSDI.

Another important requirement is working at a job that pays Social Security taxes. SSDI is funded by tax payers, so if you haven’t contributed to the system, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits.

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Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions

For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that we consider severe enough that it prevents a person from doing substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.

We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:

  • Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
  • Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.

For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits For People With Disabilities website.

Documents You May Need To Provide

What Do You Need to Apply for Social Security Disability ...

We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
  • U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
  • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year
  • An Adult Disability Report that collects more details about your illnesses, injuries or conditions, and your work history
  • Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results and
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received .


We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.

Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.

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