If you’ve read anything about the process of successfully applying for Social Security disability benefits, you’ve probably felt lost, overwhelmed, or even hopeless about the challenges ahead. However, it is important to understand that you CAN successfully navigate this process and work with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to receive the support you deserve.
Let’s take a closer look at the five major steps in the process of initially applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits:
- You fill out and submit your application for disability benefits. You can submit your application in person at an SSA field office, over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet. However you decide to file it, it is important that you fill out your application completely and accurately. If you do not, it will be sent back to you. You have the right to work with a disability lawyer at the time you file your disability application and throughout your disability determination process.
- Once you file your application, it will be received by Disability Determination Services (DDS). The State of Texas, Disability Determination for Social Security Administration Office is located in Austin. Your application will be forwarded to this office by your local Social Security office.
- Your case will be reviewed by a disability specialist and medical consultant. These two case reviewers will take a close look at your medical records, your work history, and the nature of your disability.
- DDS informs the SSA field office of its decision based on its review of the application you submitted.
- You will be notified that you are eligible to receive benefits or that your petition for benefits has been denied. About two out of three people are denied benefits at this point and must appeal the decision of the SSA.
If you need assistance at any stage of the Social Security disability eligibility process, we encourage you to speak with an experienced and local Social Security disability attorney. We may be able to help you get the benefits you deserve. Start a live chat with us today to schedule a confidential appointment.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.