The Social Security DisabilityThe Social Security Disability
Benefits Process:Benefits Process:
How You Can Get The SSDI Benefits You've EarnedHow You Can Get The SSDI Benefits You've Earned
Social Security disability benefits can be an important income source if you
ever become unable to work. These essential benefits help people
suffering from medical conditions that render them unable to work, such
as congestive heart failure, depression, or other debilitating conditions.
Without Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, many
Americans are left without a way to pay for life's everyday expenses.
What Are SSDI Benefits?What Are SSDI Benefits?
• Social Security disability benefits
provide a consistent monthly
income with cost of living
adjustments every year for
people who have a disability that
has lasted or is expected to last
for at least one year or result in
death. Recipients also are eligible
for Medicare. Regardless of your
age, 24 months after your date of
entitlement to SSDI benefits, you
are eligible for Medicare.
• Medicare benefits include Part A,
Part B, and Part D. The different
types of Medicare coverage will
give SSDI benefit recipients
access to hospital (Part A),
medical (Part B), and prescription
drug benefits (Part D), as well as
the choice of one of several
Medicare Advantage plans. It's
also possible to qualify for an 11-
month extension of your COBRA
Why Use SSDI Benefits?Why Use SSDI Benefits?
• You should apply for SSDI benefits because you have paid for these
benefits through your payroll taxes. If you qualify because of a severe
disability, then you are entitled to receive this income.
• If you are ever faced with a medical condition that leaves you unable to
work, SSDI benefits can provide you with a way to support yourself until
you get back on your feet.
• Other advantages of applying for and receiving Social Security disability
benefits are dependent benefits for any children or dependents under age
18, the ability to protect your long-term disability benefits, and return-to-
work incentives to help you test out your ability to return to work without
compromising your benefits.
Other Advantages To SSDIOther Advantages To SSDI
• In addition to the financial
benefits, a successful SSDI
benefits claim can protect your
future Social Security retirement
• This is because the Social Security
Administration “freezes” the
record of your Social Security
earnings so your years receiving
SSDI benefits don’t count.
• This means when you do transfer
from SSDI to Social Security
retirement, only your years of
work before you became disabled
• Your earnings are averaged over
a shorter amount of time,
increasing the amount you
receive every month once you
reach retirement age.
Who Qualifies For SSDI BenefitsWho Qualifies For SSDI Benefits
• People have to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, both through
a documented disability and a history of work experience. Typically,
workers need to be under retirement age and to have worked and paid
into the Social Security Administration for five of the last ten years.
• The amount of monetary SSDI benefits you receive depends on the
amount you paid into Social Security throughout your working years.
• A doctor can help get the process rolling through documenting your
medical conditions. The Social Security Administration updates its list of
eligible disabilities often, including emphysema, pulmonary disease,
chronic liver disease, depression, fibromyalgia, heart disease, and anxiety.
About The Application ProcessAbout The Application Process
• People applying for Social
Security disability benefits make
two major mistakes – they wait
too long to apply and attempt to
wade through the confusing
hurdles surrounding SSDI benefits
• Many people are too proud to
apply for the SSDI benefits
they’ve earned. Instead, they
exhaust their personal savings
and retirement accounts to
support themselves financially.
• Applying for SSDI benefits is a
long process. Currently, more
than three quarters of a million
people are waiting for their SSDI
hearing, with more than 1.7
million people waiting in the four
levels of approval.
• Applicants attacking this process
without representation are left
waiting while trying to sift
through stacks of confusing
government forms, having their
The SSDI ProcessThe SSDI Process
• First is completing the initial Social Security disability benefits application
and a detailed Activities of Daily Living (ADL) questionnaire. Your doctor
must confirm you disability is expected to last at least 12 months. The
average wait is four to six months and only around 36% are accepted.
• Second is reapplying for an appeal if your first level claim is rejected. You
must update your medical and work history and the SSA reviews your file.
The average wait is three to five months and around 86% of first appeals
• Third is the hearing with an average wait time currently more than 500
days. You and your SSDI benefits representative appear before an
administration law judge who makes a decision base on your testimony
and evidence. Around 63% at this level are successful.
The Appeals CouncilThe Appeals Council
• If your third level hearing for SSDI
eligibility is denied, the next step
is the Appeals Council. Wait time
averages 265 days, but only 2% of
these claims are successful.
• There is also an additional appeal
available, which is pursued by
less than one percent of
claimants – Federal District Court
• Approximately 70% of these are
denied with a small amount
receiving a decision in FDC that
resulted in an award.
• The remainders are sent back to
the hearing level for an additional
Hiring An SSDI Benefits CompanyHiring An SSDI Benefits Company
• Making your way through the SSDI process can be long and frustrating.
Instead of struggling with government forms and bureaucratic paperwork,
consider hiring a Social Security disability representative to represent your
• A Social Security disability representative will know the ins and outs of the
process best and are experienced in dealing with the many forms and
documentation, which will help you get an award quicker.
• The representative you choose is a very important decision. If you’re
unable to work for the rest of your life, this company can be your lifeline
to making sure you’re able to financially care for yourself and your family
until you are of retirement age.
What To Look ForWhat To Look For
• Success Rate of SSDI Benefits Claims – Look for a high success rate.
• Cost – No fees unless you receive an award for SSDI benefits.
• Streamlined Process – Electronic filing speeds the process.
• Dedicated Representative – Someone who will attend hearings with you.
• Regular Updates – Get easy updates and check your claim status online.
• Becoming disabled and unable to work can be a stressful time. Whether
you’re expected to eventually recover and re-enter the workforce or if
you’ve experienced a debilitating medical event that renders you unable
to work, it’s important to understand SSDI benefits and the impact they
can have on your life.