Social Security Disability Insurance is a payroll tax funded insurance program run by the United States government. It is designed to make sure people who are out of work because of a disability still have some income. It also guarantees that people with disabilities have some income in case their condition doesn’t improve.
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance can be confusing and even a little intimidating. Don’t worry, continue reading and learn all about the process.
How Do I Know If I Qualify?
- If you are unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition and that condition is expected to last at least one year or result in death, you should be able to qualify as being legally disabled.
- You cannot get benefits just because your doctor, your job or an insurance agency says you are disabled. The Social Security Administration will review all claims to determine if you meet their requirements.
- You must be younger than 65 years old and you must have worked 5 of the last 10 years.
How Do I Apply?
- You can either call toll free 1-800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Security Office
- You can also fill out most of the paper work online.
- Once you apply, you will receive a date for your interview and a starter kit. You can also print out the starter kit online. The starter kit contains a fact sheet with answers to common questions, a checklist that tells you what information you will need to gather and a work sheet that will help you prepare for your interview.
- Your interview will take place with a representative in your local Social Security Office or by phone if that is more convenient. The interview will last at least an hour.
Things To Keep In Mind
- About 60-70 percent of all disability claims are denied the first time.
- It usually takes about 3 to 5 months for an initial decision on your claim.
- If your claim is denied you must ask for a Request for Reconsideration and file that within 60 days of your denial or else you will have to start the process all over again.
- The majority of Requests for Consideration are also denied.
- If your Request for Consideration was denied you must ask for a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
- It is a good idea to have a lawyer throughout this process. If you choose to have your initial interview without a lawyer and it is denied it is a very good idea to hire a lawyer once you begin the appeal process.
- If you do not have a lawyer it is very important for you to stay on top of your claim. This includes providing all of the information requested by Social Security on time, not missing any appointments, including your own doctors appointments and appointments for any exams that Social Security has set up for you.