Guide To Social Security Disability

Potential claimants who are applying or appealing for social security disability on their own through the website often find it strenuous and challenging. Getting approved is no easy feat; simple mistakes and misinterpretations in the application process can cause qualified applicants to be wrongfully denied. As a result, our team of disability advocates created the Disability Guide to ease the burden of navigating the complexities of to educate claimants before submitting an application so they can better understand how to properly apply and appeal for disability benefits significantly raising the probability of their SSA Disability case being approved.


What Happens After I Submit my Application?

Once your application has been successfully submitted to the Social Security Administration, it will be reviewed to ensure it meets all the necessary requirements for an approval. One of the first parts of a case that is evaluated is the work history and work credits. This will tell the SSA which one of the two benefit programs for disability the claimant will be eligible for, SSI or SSDI. After that has been confirmed, your application will be sent over to the Disability Determination Services. This department makes the first decision on whether or not the application is approved or denied.


After the application has been sent over to the DDS, all medical records and documentation submitted with the application will be reviewed to ensure disability criteria is met. If the inspector of the claim believes there isn’t substantial medical documentation proving the claimant is disabled, a medical exam may be required to ensure the disability is proven to properly award disability benefits. If the claimant has multiple conditions more than one consultative exam may be required.


Now that the DDS has accurately gathered and received the entirety of medical documents in regards to the claimant’s disabilities listed in the application, a decision based on this information can be made. The approval or denial will solely be based on the medical evidence gathered and whether or not the claimant’s disabilities are included in the list of Social Security Impairments. If the disabilities are legitimate, the claim now has to been examined to see if the claimant can indeed preform their job or any other job to have substantial gainful employment.


Once a decision has been made the SSA will mail the claimant a letter stating whether or not the case was approved or denied. If approved for disability benefits the monthly amount will be stated and the state date of the checks. There will also be a check known as retroactive benefits or back pay awarded to claimant is approved. This is a lump sum check that is award after approval and is compensation for the time it took to receive the decision on the claim. Most of the time these checks are substantially large and it should be noted they are only a one time payment and don’t interfere with the monthly benefits. If the case unfortunately is denied, the claimant will have enclosed a reason for denial and the steps now needed to file an appeal.

Programs Offered By Social Security

The Social Security Administration offers five major social security programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) – This disability program is for Americans who have worked 5 years in the past 10 years who have become ill or injured no longer able to work. This program is only available to adults age 18 or older.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – This benefit program is for Americans who are suffering from a disease or condition which prevent them from work. This program usually is for individuals who haven’t worked and are considered a low income household. If a child is disabled this would be the disability program for them.
  • Widowers benefits aka “survivor benefits” – This program pays individuals who are 50 or older and become ill or develop a condition which disables them shortly after the death of their spouse. In order to qualify for this benefit the claimants spouse must have worked and paid taxes similar to SSDI rules.
  • Disabled Adult Children Benefits – This benefit program would pay minors under the age of 18 who their guardians were drawing social security retirement or disability and passed away.
  • Retirement Benefits often referred to as “social security benefits”. This program is for Americans who have worked and now retired wanting to draw social security. These benefit can be drawn early at 62 or the regular age of 66.

More Disability Resources

SSI For Children With Disabilities

In the United States, disabled children are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with certain states offering additional state or supplemental benefit programs. For a child To be approved for SSI benefits the family must meet financial requirements from the SSA. Find out if your child qualifies for SSI benefits.

Service Animals For People With Disabilities

Individuals who suffer from mental and physical conditions that debilitate them from their daily routine may qualify to receive a service animal for assistance. Service animals have been known not only to service their owners but be therapeutic relief. Find out if your illness or condition commonly uses a service animal.

Social Security Disability Myths & Misconceptions

The Social Security Administration is vast sometimes creating inconsistencies between applicants which allowing common misconceptions to occur. This myths and misconceptions about how to get approved for disability benefits and what may happen afterwards can have a negative impact on applicants and detour them for applying or receiving disability. Please read our myths and misconceptions page to find the truth behind Social Security Disability.