The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains an online tool known as the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST). According to the BEST website, you answer questions anonymously and at the end of the survey the website will tell you which Social Security programs you may be eligible for based on your answers. Additionally, the website will give you information about your potential eligibility and about how to apply for benefits.
What BEST Will Not Tell You
While you may gain useful information from BEST, you will not be told:
- Whether you are eligible for benefits.
- How much you will be able to receive in benefits if you are found eligible when you apply.
That information can only come from the SSA after you complete and submit a Social Security disability application.
BEST May Still Be Useful
Best provides an easy way to determine whether or not you should pursue a possible Social Security disability claim. You will not share your name or Social Security number when you use the free online tool, but you may gain useful information about Social Security disability from using it.
There are no shortcuts in determining Social Security disability eligibility. The only way to know for sure whether or not you qualify is to fill out a complete and accurate application. Still, many applications for people who should qualify for Social Security disability are denied every year because of technicalities. Accordingly, it is important to consult with an experienced Texas Social Security disability lawyer to make sure that your application is filed correctly and that your right to fair benefits is protected.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.