Every month, millions of retirees, as well as individuals with disabilities, receive benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These disability benefits are distributed through two programs: the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSI and SSDI cater to different types of beneficiaries.
SSI is designed to help elderly adults or people of any age who are disabled or blind, and who also have limited resources. SSDI, on the other hand, is for those who haven’t yet reached full retirement age, but need to apply for benefits early due to their disability. It’s worth noting that SSI benefits are available even to those who haven’t been able to work, whereas SSDI is for those who have paid their due taxes to the Social Security Administration.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
Applying for these benefits is quite straightforward. You can either fill out an application on the SSA website or give them a call at 800-772-1213. You’ll need to provide documents that prove your disability and outline your work history. From the time you submit your application, it can take up to six months for the process to be completed.
Remember, once you’ve submitted an application, you won’t be able to submit another one. This means double payments are out of the question. But don’t worry—if your application is rejected, you’re free to reapply until you get approval.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the application process before diving in. The SSA website suggests gathering all the necessary information and documents before starting your application.
So, how does the application process work?
Whether you’re applying in person or online, the SSA advises you to:
- Collect all the necessary information and documents for your application
- Fill out and submit your application
- The SSA will then review your application to make sure it meets the basic requirements for disability benefits
- They will check if you have worked long enough to qualify
- They will evaluate any current work activity
After processing your application, the SSA will forward your case to the Disability. Finally, this state agency will make the decision on your disability determination. The SSA website also notes that processing times for disability applications can vary. It depends on the nature of the disability, any necessary medical evidence or exams, and any relevant quality reviews.