What is the process for applying for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) & Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
Submit an Application
If you believe you are entitled to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you must submit an Application (online, by phone, in-person at a Social Security office, or mailed in) to the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA examiners review the application, including the nature and severity of your impairment, medical records, work history, age and level of education, and if you could do other work. The SSA may also require you to be examined by a doctor they select.
Do not be discouraged by the process. It can be a challenge, and we understand that and regularly assist clients seeking SSDI and SSI benefits. Only 30 percent of all applications are approved at the initial level of the disability claim process.
If your SSDI or SSI Application is denied, then you have 60 days to request Reconsideration. The process essentially is repeated with updated information from you. But again, it is a challenge to win at this stage. Roughly 85 percent of all applications are denied at the reconsideration level of the disability claim process.
Request a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
If Reconsideration is denied, then you have 60 days to appeal and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). At the ALJ is when you have your best chance to win. We regularly represent clients at every stage of the process, from the initial application to the ALJ hearing, and your chances of winning at every one of those stages are better if you have an attorney.
Before and at your ALJ hearing, you may submit updated information and evidence to the Social Security Administration. At the hearing, the ALJ and your attorney will ask you questions about your medical condition and your ability to do any work. Then, the ALJ and your attorney will ask a vocational expert about whether there are any jobs you could perform given your medical condition and limitations.
The ALJ will then consider all the evidence and issue a written decision after the hearing. However, the entire process from application to ALJ decision can take up to two years. We recognize that it is difficult for individuals who cannot work and are suffering from a medical condition to wait that long. We make every effort to move your case as quickly as we can, and also get you the best result.