Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides disability payments and other benefits to disabled workers and their families. You need to be disabled and have a qualifying work history, either through your own employment or a family member (spouse/parent).
You can apply for SSDI by:
- Visiting https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/ to start the disability application process online. You may be eligible to apply for SSI through the online disability application.
- Calling SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (or TTY 1-800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing) and speak with a representative over the phone.
- Call your local Social Security office to schedule a telephone appointment to file for SSDI benefits.
Can I get Social Security disability if something happens (i.e., break a leg) and I’m out of work for a couple of weeks?
No. You must have an ongoing condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months.
Can I get Social Security disability if I’m sick, but have never been to a doctor?
No. Social Security is a medical determination and thus, there must be medical evidence to support your claim of disability.
If I know that I’m not going to be able to work anymore, when should I file for disability?
You should file as soon as you know that you won’t be able to continue to work on a full-time basis. Some people may be eligible to collect disability from work and wait until those benefits stop to file a Social Security claim. That is not necessary – you can file for Social Security disability benefits while collecting other benefits.
How long does it take from when I file a claim to actually get a hearing?
Unfortunately, it’s a long process. It can take anywhere from 12-16 months from the time that you file the initial claim until you get a hearing. It can take another 3-5 months until you receive a decision from the judge
After I have been granted disability benefits, will the Social Security Administration review my case to determine if I continue to be eligible for benefits?
Yes. The Social Security Administration does conduct continuing disability reviews.
If my doctor says that I can’t work, is the Social Security Administration and/or the judge who hears my case required to accept that opinion and grant me benefits?
No. The Social Security Administration and/or the judge will review all the medical evidence and make its own determination regarding your ability to work.