How Does The Social Security Disability Application Process Work
To apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income , you can apply through:
- A local SSA agency: Apply in person at your nearest SSA field office.
- A phone call: You can dial in toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 .
- An online form. Fill out an online application.
Before starting your application, gather your medical records and the contact information of your healthcare providers. After you apply, the SSA will review your application and render a decision within five months.
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Alaska Disability Seekers May Qualify For Legal Assistance
Did you know hiring an Alaska disability lawyer makes you almost 3x more likely to receive benefits?
Dont forget! Your qualified Social Security attorneys wont charge if you dont get approved. And if you win, then you pay a small one-time fee.
See if you qualify now! Click below to start your free online benefits evaluation.
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Obtaining Social Security benefits after becoming disabled and unable to work can help to alleviate some stress and financial burdens you might be feeling at this time but what if your application is denied? This can add even more stress to an already overwhelming situation. If you believe your claim was wrongly denied, do not file a new application. Instead, ask for reconsideration of your case through the appeals process.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Back Pay
May 5, 2020 By
For a lot of people who become too injured or ill to continue working, their Social Security Disability benefits cant be paid out too soon. However, before they can receive benefits, their claim must be investigated and approved. The Social Security Administration has a huge backlog of cases to consider. Three to six months is the average time it takes for the SSA to come to an initial decision on a claim. If the claim is rejected, it may take several more months or even years for the applicant to make their way through the appeals process.
If youve been waiting a seemingly endless time to receive your benefits, theres good news. Once your claim for SSDI or SSI benefits is approved, youll be qualified to receive back payment for the past due benefits that have accrued between the date of onset the date you became disabled and the date you were approved for benefits.
The date of onset can be up to 12 months before you filed your claim. In order to receive back pay for all 12 months, however, youll have to be found to be disabled 17 full months before your filing date thats because theres a five-month period after your EOD before you can receive benefits.
Whos Eligible For Ssdi
Residents from Utqiavik to Adak can apply for SSDI benefits if they answer yes to all these questions:
- Have you seen a doctor about your disability in the past 90 days? If not, you can get a DDS exam to confirm your condition. Did you know your Alaska disability lawyer can pay for doctor visits and medical records if you cant?
- Does your doctor expect your disability to keep you off the job for at least 12 months? You arent eligible if you can go back to work sooner.
- Have you worked full-time for at least 5 of the last 10 years for employers who withheld Social Security taxes? Eligibility lapses if you stop working for 60 months since you didnt pay FICA taxes during that time.
- Are you between 18 and 65 and not currently receiving Social Security benefits? The program stops paying at full retirement age because thats when you start getting regular Social Security benefits.
Dont worry if you have some no answers. You may still qualify for the SSI program .
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How Long Does It Take For General Claims That Dont Qualify For Fast
First-time applicants may win approval in 3-5 months, on average. In December 2020, the SSA approved a little more than 1 in 5 first-time applicants. Most claimants have to appeal their initial denials, especially if they dont have a lawyer handling their cases.
Appealed disability claims have four steps before you should attempt to reapply for benefits. The SSA may approve your claim at any point in this process:
The amount of time it takes for you to win approval depends on which level of appeal your claim must go through. For example, some applicants who have their claim approved after reconsideration may be approved within six months. Applicants who take their claim to the appeals council for review may experience a wait time of two years. Appealing to a Federal court may take more than a year after the appeals council.
Why A Waiting Period
The five-month pause has been part of SSDI since the program began in the mid-1950s. The idea is to make sure applicants genuinely have a lasting disability, not a short-term illness or injury from which they might recover quickly, and to deter those who can work from applying. Congressional research has found that eliminating it would cost Social Security billions of dollars per year.
There are some exceptions to the waiting period. For example, a federal law passed in 2020 eliminated the wait if you are disabled due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . If Social Security determines that your disability from ALS began in November, you would be entitled to a benefit for December.
You may also be able to skip the waiting period if you need to go back on disability after being off benefits for up to five years. If the reason your SSDI stopped is that you returned to work and exceeded Social Security’s earnings limit for disabled beneficiaries, you can ask for your benefits to be resumed right away through a process called expedited reinstatement. You can receive provisional benefits for up to six months while Social Security decides if you are entitled to SSDI again.
Keep in mind
We Will Work For You And Fight For You As Long As It Takes
Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of applying for Social Security Disability is the lengthy wait times. Your case can linger for many months in bureaucratic limbo. Even claimants who eventually win their cases are typically a year or more into the process before they get approved for benefits.
Cox Disability Law, LLC, is committed to helping you weather the storms and the doldrums of this frustrating process. We cant speed up the government, but we will do everything possible on our end to shrink the timeline. We make sure that your initial claim is properly documented for the best chance of success. We will promptly appeal denied claims and vigorously represent you at any stage of the hearings and appeals process.
We Are Here for the Long Haul
Our Birmingham law firm handles only Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income claims. We have helped thousands of people in northern and north central Alabama qualify for benefits.Contact us online or call 800-930-1205.
Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Disability Program provides long-term protection to individuals who are totally disabled, consistent with Social Security criteria. It is meant to provide benefits only to those individuals with the most serious impairments. Browse this page to learn more about the program and how to apply for benefits.
- Filing as
Differences in Social Security Disability support
Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income pay benefits to individuals who are found to be disabled under the law. Title II provides cash benefits for those disabled workers who have contributed to the Social Security Trust Fund and pays benefits to their dependents. Title XVI provides monthly payments to aged, blind, and disabled people with limited income and resources.
To learn more, click here.
For adults, the law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
A medically determinable impairment is one that is established by medical evidence that consists of signs, symptoms, and medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.
To learn more, click here.
How to file a claim
It is advisable for you to have the following information available when filing a claim:
How to file a claim
Signs You Will Be Approved For Disability
Though nobody can guarantee that your disability case will be approved, there are several situations in which itâs more likely. If youâre over 50 or 55, youâre considered to be of âadvanced ageâ, which shifts the grid of work youâre expected to be able to do, making approval easier. If youâre able to strongly document the progression of your disability through medical records, youâre also more likely to be approved for disability, because youâve provided solid evidence to back up your claim. If you earn less than the Substantial Gainful Activity amount, youâre more likely to have your claim approved. If youâve been out of work for over 12 months or work due to health concerns, youâre likely to be approved.
Examples Of What You Need To Apply
- Social Security number
- Birth certificate
- Names, addresses and phone numbers of all doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics and dates of your visits
- Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers
- A copy of your most recent W-2 Form or , if you are self-employed, your federal tax return for the past year
- Laboratory results, test results, and pathology reports
- A summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did
- Names and doses of all medicines
Please go to www.ssa.gov for full detailed information.
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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 qualify for disability benefits. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.
What Medical Conditions Qualify For Disability
Some medical conditions for disability approval include: arthritis, heart disease, degenerative disc disease, and mental health diseases. If you have a medical condition that is severe enough that you will be out of work for at least 12 months you may be able to qualify for disability.
Only a few medical conditions that qualify for disability, such as ALS, an organ transplant, or certain dangerous cancers, such as esophageal cancer, mucosal melanoma, anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid gland, or small-cell carcinoma, will result in automatic disability approval . The next step for all other medical conditions for disability approval is to see if your medical condition satisfies the precise requirements outlined for by the SSA for that condition.
If you haven’t had the clinical or laboratory tests listed for your disabling condition, you can request them from your doctor. You can also wait for the SSA to pay for a consultation test, but this will prolong the processing of your claim.
It is preferable if the test results are already in your medical record when you apply. Then you may see if your test results fulfill the listing’s requirements, and if they do or are close, you can apply for disability.
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Health Coverage For People With Disabilities
If you have a disability, you have three options for health coverage through the government.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to people with disabilities. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.
Medicare provides medical health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease . Learn about eligibility, how to apply and coverage.
Affordable Care Act Marketplace offers options to people who have a disability, dont qualify for disability benefits, and need health coverage. Learn about the .
Why Is My Social Security Disability Being Reviewed
Though most disability recipients are really disabled, there are also some bad eggs who try to take advantage of the system. Youve probably heard reports about people who have already recovered and have started working but are still receiving disability benefits. Or those who have faked their disability to get benefits.
Remember that social security disability benefits are meant to assist people with disabilities. Unlike workers compensation, it is federally funded. So the government has to make sure that those who got approved for disability are really qualified. Having many non-disabled people on the SSAs disability payroll will deprive those who really need it the most.
So if you received a social security disability review notice, know that its just routine. It doesnt necessarily mean theres something wrong with your claim. Though your answers on the questionnaire may affect your benefits.
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What Are Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits come from payroll deductions required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act to cover the cost of Social Security benefits, such as retirement and spousal and survivor benefits. Some of this funding goes into the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and pays for disability benefits.
According to the Social Security website, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked a certain length of time in jobs covered by Social Security. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the past 10 years, ending with the year you became disabled. You must also have a medical condition that meets Social Securitys definition of disability.
Younger workers might qualify with fewer credits.
SSDI should not be confused with Supplemental Security Income , which pays benefits to those who have financial needs regardless of their work history. Although these two names sound similar, the qualifications to get the payments and what you might receive are very different.
If You Have To Ask For Appeal Council Review
A lot of disability claims stop at the hearing level either because theyve been approved or because the reasons to expect a win on appeal decrease. However, many applicants continue their appeal to the Appeals Council.
There is less information about current wait times for Appeals Council decisions. However, in 2015 it took the Appeals Council an average 441 days to process a request for review. If you take the full 60 days to appeal at each level, your average wait time from the application to the appeals council decision is going to average more than 3 years – 39 to 45 months.
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How Much Does Ssdi Pay
Heres how Alaska disability payments are calculated:
- The SSA determines your average monthly paycheck over 35 years of work.
- They set your payment at 40% of that amount.
Most people get $1,358 a month for 2022. You can earn more than $3,000 a month if you made $139,000 annually for 10 years before becoming disabled. Payments may be higher in years when Congress approves a COLA.
What Are Ssd And Ssa
Social Security Disability is one of the programs of Social Security that aims to assist disabled workers who cant continue to earn an income due to the said disability.
Social Security Administration is the government agency that administers all processes and requests relating to any of the SS Programs from the tax contributions to application processes to benefits disbursement.
SSA has divided SSD into two different programs: the SSDI and the SSI.
- Social Security Disability Insurance is an earned benefit. Benefits vary on several factors such as the age of the person when the disability case is incurred and filed.
- Supplemental Security Income is not tied to a beneficiarys social security tax contributions or work history. However, the income from other sources must not exceed the set caps.
Social Security Disability benefits vary based on several factors.
For SSI disability, an individual can receive up to $783 monthly benefit, while a family or a couple can receive up to $1,175. Aside from citizens with disabling conditions, persons with low income and limited resources, as well as seniors over 65 years old, can be qualified for SSI.
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My Physician/practitioner Says I Will Be Unable To Work For More Than A Year How Long Can I Collect Disability Insurance Benefits
You can collect up to 52 weeks of full Disability Insurance benefits, or the amount of wages in your base period, whichever is less. You may be paid for periods longer than 52 weeks if your benefits are reduced because you returned to work on a part-time basis, or if you received other money during your disability claim period. You can contact the Social Security Administration if your disability extends beyond what DI allows.
The Median Wait Time To Get A Final Decision In 2010 Was 561 Days Then It Got Worse
If you filed for disability in 2010 your claim was in the 50th percentile for wait times – then your claim took 561 days from start to finish. Unfortunately, wait times increased between 2010 and 2015. By 2015, the median wait time was over 800 days from application to final decision.
According to a recent government report, those wait times have decreased somewhat. For example, Social Security was able to take about 100 days off the time it takes to get a decision from an administrative law judge.
What does this mean? Each case varies, and your best chance of having a quick decision is to win your claim as early in the process as possible. However, most claimants have to go through at least one or more appeals. Each step in the appeals process adds more time to your wait for benefits.
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