Social Security Disability FAQs
Q. How do I apply for disability benefits?
Applying for disability benefits can be complex. You can apply: 1) in person by visiting your local Social Security office, 2) by phone by calling 1.800.772.1213, or 3) online by visiting www.ssa.gov. If you decide to apply online, contact Social Security by phone to ensure your application is in their system.
Q. How many work credits do I need in order to qualify for disability insurance benefits?
This will usually heavily depends on your age. There are special rules for claimants under 30. From age 31 – 42, you’ll need at least 20 credits to qualify. Beyond that, the requirement increases. Once you are age 62 or older, the maximum of 40 work credits are required.
Q. How severe does my injury/illness need to be in order to qualify?
Your medical condition must be established by a trained physician and cause “marked” and “severe” functional limitations. Most importantly, your impairment must meet or equal a Social Security “Listing” or prevent you from sustaining “substantial gainful activity”.
Q. How long does it take to get a decision?
Generally it takes 3 to 6 months to receive a decision. If you are not satisfied with the SSA’s decision, you may appeal your decision. If you are denied at the initial application you can appeal your decision by filing a request for Reconsideration. If your Reconsideration is denied, you will need to request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). It can take between 6 months and 2 years to have an ALJ assigned to your claim.
Q. What do I do if my claim was denied?
Don’t give up – Reach out to a friendly staff member of The Disability Help Group to get started on your appeal and other next steps.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I get VA 100% for PTSD due to MST?
- Can I get VA 100% for Sleep Apnea?
- Can I get TDIU for PTSD?
- What is VA Permanent and Total Disability?
- How Can I Increase My VA Disability Rating?
- Can I Work and Get TDIU?
- How Can I Get TDIU?
- What medical conditions are considered disabling?
- My disability claimwas denied. How do I file an appeal?
- Where do I file my appeal?
- What happens to an appeal if the claimant (veteran) dies before a decision is issued?
- Will I be asked to testify at my Social Security Disability hearing?
- What should I do to prepare for my Social Security Disability hearing?
- What do I do when a disabled veteran in my family can no longer manage their own disability benefits?
- How does the VA arrive at adisability rating?
- If I am injured or disabled how do I apply?
- I just started a new application/filed an appealfor disability benefitsbut have since moved/changed my phone number/started seeing a new doctor/my medical condition has worsened or improved/been prescribed and am taking new medication. What should I do?
- I just received a notice from Disability Determination Services (DDS) that states I mustundergo a medical examination by one of their doctors. Should Igo to this appointment?
- If I am denied how can I appeal the decision?
- If I am injured or disabled, when is the best time to apply?
- I just received notice that my claim was denied. Should I appeal the decision or start a new application?
- What can I do to prepare for my hearing with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals?
- If I am disabled when will I be eligible for benefits?
- I just received a Function Report questionnaire in the mail from Social Security. What should I do?
- I’ve often heard that my disability must meet a “listing”. What exactly is a listing?
- How long does it take to get a decision?
- Can abusing alcohol or illegal or prescription drugs harm my disability claim?
- I don’t have insurance, how can I get medical treatment?
- How do I apply for disability benefits?
- I am suffering from a service-connected injury, when is the best time to apply?
- How severe does my condition have to be to receive disability?
- How do I obtain a copy of my discharge/separation papers (DD 214)?
- How long will my disability benefits last?
- How do I apply for Veterans Disability Compensation?
- Can I receive more compensation from veterans benefits for dependents like my children?
- Can your VA disability benefits be garnished for child support?