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How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Individual Social Security Disability benefits may be available to those who have a medical condition that makes them incapable of earning at least $1,310 per month. These benefits are broken down into two types: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for workers recently displaced by their disabilities and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled that have a very limited or non-existent work history and individual resources valued at less than $2,000. While the process for applying appears confusing and intimidating, it’s actually a very straightforward procedure when you follow the steps outlined below.

First, you may wish to review the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. Principally, it considers whether your medical condition renders you incapable of substantial gainful employment. It considers a variety of factors, including your education, training, skill, knowledge and past work history.

If you think you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, the easiest way to apply is by filling out an online application. You can also apply over the phone or by making an appointment at a Social Security Administration office near you.

Regardless of how you choose to apply, you will need to have certain documents and information on hand. A checklist of the information you will need will be found here.

After you have applied, it will take approximately 3-5 months for you to hear back from the Social Security Administration about your claim. In the meantime, there are many organizations and sources of support that may be able to help you while you are awaiting a decision.

If you are denied benefits when you apply, do not be discouraged—most claimants are denied Social Security Disability Benefits when they first apply. However, if you are denied benefits, that does not necessarily mean that you do not qualify for them. We have helped many of our clients who were denied Social Security Disability get the benefits that they deserve.

If you have any questions about Social Security Disability or have been denied and need the help of an experienced lawyer, you can call us at 805-323-9166, 661-214-8888, or 559-214-8888 or reach out via our Contact Us form.

The law firm of Ghitterman, Ghitterman and Feld helps employees in the areas of workers’ compensation, social security disability, disability retirement, personal injury, labor and employment issues. Founded in 1956, the firm now has offices in Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Kern County, Tulare County, and Fresno County. The firm is proud to continue this tradition of securing all available rights for the injured and disabled in our community. For more information about what we do, how we might be about to help, or resources, see our website at ghitterman.com.