What to Expect When Applying

For injured workers who want to get a head start on applying for SSD benefits, an SSD lawyer can give you a much-needed advantage over first-time applicants with no knowledge of how the Social Security Administration (SSA) grants approvals.

Barriers to Approval

In an effort to make sure only truly qualified applicants receive regular disability checks, the SSA uses strict guidelines to screen applications. Unfortunately, the Administration must disqualify all applications that do not meet certain standards. That means if your application is late, if you forget to fill out a section, or if you fail to provide the requested medical signatures, your application may receive an immediate rejection.

Before applying for SSD, also check to make sure you meet the work history requirements and have paid Social Security taxes for the required period of time. If you have not worked long enough or paid enough taxes, consider applying for Supplemental Security Insurance instead.

Applying and Appealing

There are five stages of the SSD application process you should be prepared for before submitting your initial application — the initial application phase, plus four chances for appeal. Hiring an attorney at any stage can be highly beneficial and improve your chances of getting approved.

If you’ve applied and been denied already, don’t worry, you have options. Feel free to review our brief guide to the appeals process to get an idea of the steps involved with contesting a denial.

Waiting for an Answer

Checking the mail every day to see if your SSD benefits have been granted can be discouraging. Most applicants must wait a minimum of five months after the date of disability, known as the EOD or “established onset date.” Although applicants who are approved will usually be eligible for retroactive payments to cover the waiting period, these applicants are left with no income in the meantime. Hiring an attorney can help reduce the administrative processing time and get benefits coming in as soon as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about Social Security Disability, please visit our page on Frequently Asked Questions about SSD. When you’re ready to apply, please contact an SSD attorney near you for valuable legal assistance.