An Easy Step by Step Guide to SSDI

An Easy Step by Step Guide to SSDI

SSDI step by step
Want to know more SSDI step by step basics? Contact SSDA USA today!

If you suffer from a disability, chances are that you are wondering what benefits you can receive. What is social security disability? How do I qualify? What comes with SSDI? If you find yourself asking any of these questions, you’ve arrived at the correct place. Social Security Disability Advocates USA has the answers, so get ready to learn all about SSDI step by step.

The Definition: Social Security Disability Insurance

What is Social Security Disability Insurance? Well, Social Security Disability Insurance – or SSDI, for short – is a program that the Social Security Administration (SSA) manages. The funds for this program come from payroll taxes, e.g. Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. SSDI aids people who have worked and became disabled. Essentially, it’s semantically similar to an early retirement for people who couldn’t continue working because of their disability.

How Do I Qualify for SSDI?

SSDI doesn’t allow just anyone to qualify. First, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, which is as follows:

  • You have a condition that prevents you from working and earning Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), and
  • Your condition has lasted/will last for no less than 12 months or will result in your death.

Even if you meet this requirement, you’ll still have to present substantial proof that your condition is disabling according to the SSA. You’ll need to provide medical records that are timely, accurate, and substantial. You also must provide any work-related documents, fill out various forms, and complete various other paperwork. Don’t be careless! Even a single error could result in a technical denial of your application.

TIP: The monthly SGA amount for 2019 is $1,220 for non-blind individuals and $2,040 for blind individuals. However, you could still potentially work while receiving SSDI benefits because of the SSA’s trial work period. Contact SSDA USA for more information!

In addition, you must have worked and earned a certain amount of work credits. The number of required work credits varies based on age, so it isn’t at all like the fixed number of work credits required for retirement. SSDI is also not the same as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which doesn’t use work history as a criterium.

How Do I Apply for SSDI?

When you’re ready to apply for SSDI, you can go about it in a variety of ways. You can apply online, by phone, or in person. Regardless of your method, the requirements are the same.

TIP: Keep in mind that whenever you apply for social security benefits, you always have the right to representation. Don’t trust that the government is doing right by you. Contact an SSDA USA representative to guide you through the application process.

You must provide some personal information to start off the application process. For example, you should have all your medications and medical records handy when applying. You’ll have to provide the addresses of all the doctors you visit, proof of your identity, laboratory/test results along with medical records, and many other documents.

Be exhaustive! It’s important to be transparent and honest with the Social Security Administration and with your Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. If they find out they’re missing something or that you’re lying, you may not qualify. Even worse – if they find out after you’ve begun receiving benefits, you may have to pay them back.

What Should I Do if I Get Denied?

Chances are more than likely you won’t receive benefits after your initial application. In fact, only about one-third of applicants get approved on their first try. But don’t worry. There are many steps you can take.

TIP: Many people think filing a whole new application is better than appealing the denial. This is often not true. Contact SSDA USA for guidance on appealing your SSDI denial.

If your initial claim gets denied, you can file a request for reconsideration. About 11% of people get approved at this level. After this, you can still file for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). The approval rating at this point is around 58%. If you still don’t see approval, you can request that an Appeals Council reviews your case. If they dismiss your case or still deny you benefits, the final step you can take is going to a federal district court. The approval ratings at this point are very low, but if you truly feel it’s the way to go, you should consider this option.

What Happens When I’m Approved?

Once you’re approved for benefits, you will most likely receive back pay (benefits from your application date to the present) and possibly retroactive benefits (benefits from your disability start date to the application date).

You will also receive an approval letter that discusses the details of your benefits. Such a letter tells you what your benefits are, why those benefits apply to you, how your benefits were calculated, etc.

The dates that you receive benefits depend on your birthday and are organized into three groups:

  • If your birthday is from the 1st to the 10th, you will receive your benefits on the second Wednesday of each month.
  • If your birthday is from the 11th to the 20th, your benefits will arrive to you on the third Wednesday of each month.
  • Finally, if your birthday is from the 21st to 31st, you’ll receive your benefits on the 4th Wednesday of each month.

TIP: The benefits you receive each month are the benefits owed to you the month before. In addition, some holidays can affect your benefits schedule. Contact SSDA USA for any questions you may have.

What’s Next?

Keep in mind, SSDI approval is not the light at the end of the tunnel. While it’s a huge relief for many people to finally get approval, you should never forget that keeping approval is also important.

After SSDI approval, a follow-up interview may be necessary. Interviewers may ask you information about your bank, as well as if you want to sign up your children or other eligible members of your family for benefits.

TIP: 24 months after your SSDI approval, you become automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. For other SSDI secrets, contact SSDA USA.

After a possible initial interview, you should expect future mandatory Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs). Depending on the severity of your disability and whether it’s expected to improve, you may have more or less time between CDRs. For example, the general range is from three to seven years after your benefits approval. If your condition is expected to improve, though, a CDR could take place sooner. If your condition is expected to remain constant or even get worse, a CDR might occur later. CDRs are more frequent for individuals younger than age 50, and children will have a mandatory CDR once they reach age 18.

In addition, certain events could trigger a CDR. For example, if you return to work, your DDS office and the SSA may see this as a sign that you’re no longer suffering from a disability. New medical evidence, informing the SSA about your condition’s improvement, and new methods of treatment are all things that could trigger a CDR. If a CDR determines that your condition has significantly improved, your benefits could stop. If a CDR does not determine that your condition has significantly improved, you should continue receiving your benefits as you normally would.

Want to Know More SSDI Step by Step Tricks?

If you have more questions about the SSDI step by step process, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today! We are always standing by and ready to address all your questions and concerns.

Give us a call anytime at 602-952-3200. Also, be sure to contact us online and check out our LiveChat feature. Don’t keep your questions bottled up; contact an attorney for help right away!

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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