Disability Claims Process

What is a Social Security Disability Claim?

A claim is the application that an individual files to receive Social Security Disability benefits. The claim can involve filling out several complex forms, as well as providing proof of a physical or mental disability and inability to work.

Disability payments are awarded only to people who claim that they will never be able to work again, have a shortened life expectancy due to a disability or are unable to work for at least twelve months.

Individuals are encouraged to file their claims on the day they become aware of their inability to work due to a new mental or physical impairment.

Individuals who are born with a significant challenge to their mental or physical health are also able to file a disability benefits claim if they can prove that they will never be able to find work and support themselves on their own.

Disability Claims Process

The disability claims process is a 5-step process. Each of the 5 steps evaluate a specific aspect pertaining to the applicant, their disability, and their work history.

The first step in the disability claims process revolves around your work history and whether you are currently working. If you are currently working—i.e., you are able to work with your disability / medical condition—it is unlikely that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will approve your application for disability benefits. This is because you are able to participate in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) and a criteria of qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is not being able to participate in SGA.

The second step in the disability claims process evaluates the severity of your medical condition. In order to qualify for disability, one must have a medical condition that interferes with basic activities and work tasks in such a way that it prevents them from being able to continue working and carrying out those tasks and activities.

The third step in the disability claims process focuses on whether your medical condition is considered to be a disability by the SSA that qualifies for benefits. The easiest way to figure out whether your condition is considered a disability by the SSA is looking at the SSA’s Blue Book. If your condition is listed in the Blue Book, it means that the SSA does consider your condition to be a disability that qualifies for benefits. Conversely, if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, it means that the SSA does not see your condition as one that qualifies for disability. However, it is important to note that this does not mean that you cannot qualify for disability if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book.

The fourth step in the disability claims process revolves around whether you are able to do any of the work you have done in the past in previous jobs. If you are able, you may not be granted disability benefits by the SSA. However, if you are not able to perform any previous work, you likely will be able to get approved for disability benefits by the SSA.

The fifth step in the disability claims process evaluates whether you can do any other kind of work with your medical condition. Once again, if you are able to work in another type of job, you likely will not be awarded disability benefits by the SSA. However, if you are unable to perform any other type of work, you will likely be seen as eligible by, and thereby will be able to obtain disability benefits from, the SSA.

What Is A Social Security Claim

A Social Security claim is another way of referring to an application for Social Security disability benefits.

How Long Does it Take to file Claim?

The claims process can range from several months to several years and may require formal adjudication by a federal judge or at the very least the intervention of legal counsel. If your claim is denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can appeal the denial or re-file an initial claim.

Individuals can also file a claim concurrently for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which differs from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and may be awarded more quickly.

Those who choose to file claims should be prepared for long wait times and complex instructions. In addition, they should consider using external help if they are mentally or physically impaired in order to expedite the claims process.

Social Security Disability Claim

Work with a Social Security Attorney

A way to ease a lot of the stress that comes with filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits is by working with Social Security lawyer. There is no upfront charge, because Social Security attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means they only get paid if you win your case.

An attorney will be able to make sure all of your paperwork is order and make sure you have all of your up to date medical records in order to give you the best chance of winning your case.

Additional Resources