How To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits

how to apply for social security disability benefits

If you are physically or mentally disabled then you might be wondering how you’re going to pay your bills if you are unable to work. When most people think of Social Security benefits they think of individuals age 65 or older, but it can also help people who are disabled and unable to work.


In order to be eligible, you must have a disabling condition that your doctors believe will last at least a year or could result in your death. You must be unable to perform both the work you did before and any other work because of your condition. You must also have worked in jobs that collected Social Security from your paychecks. 

When should I apply for Social Security Disability?

You might be optimistic and want to wait to see if your condition improves, but it’s in your best interest to apply immediately. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a backlog of applications and it could be at least 5 or 6 months before you hear an initial decision regarding your claim. If it is denied then you will have to wait even longer because then you will have to go through the appeals process.

Can I receive back pay for my SSDI?

This is a good question considering how long the wait period is. The answer is yes. In order to understand how it’s important to understand that the SSA uses two important dates when determining your backpay:

- The date you submitted your application to the SSA
- Your disability onset date

The SSA will pay you back pay for up to one year prior from the date your application was filed. This is to cover the time spent waiting for a decision because, as mentioned earlier, it could be several months before you get any response. 

Application Methods

There are a few ways to apply for Social Security benefits. The first is to apply online, and the second is to call your local Social Security office to schedule an appointment to apply in person. Check with your local SSA office because many are closed to the public for in-person services due to the COVID-19 crisis. The third way is to hire an attorney. Many firms are still working at full capacity but remotely, and are still capable of providing quality legal services.

The application will ask you about your medical condition as well as other information, such as:

- Name of spouse, if applicable
- Names and date of birth of any children who became disabled before age 22, are unmarried and under age 18, or age 18 or 19 and enrolled in school full-time
- U.S. military service history
- Employer or self-employment details
- Medications you take
- The various doctors or specialists you’ve seen
- What treatments you have tried
- Lab test results

They will look into your medical record up to about a year prior to your onset date. It’s a good idea to start gathering this information as soon as possible so you don’t delay in submitting your application.

Can I apply for SSDI on my own?

Yes, but the chances of having your application approved are much higher when you use an attorney, such as Social Security Disability Attorney William Zimmerman in Los Angeles. In fact, close to half of applications are turned down and people who have been denied may not be aware that there is a time limit for how long they have to file an appeal. Call an attorney today instead!

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Posted - 05/15/2020