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Social Security Disability: Making your initial claim

If you are disabled, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI. SSDI benefits provide you with a monthly income, so you can focus on your health and live comfortably while handling your disability.

The initial Social Security application process can be time-consuming and frustrating, which is why many people work with attorneys and other professionals to start the process. You will need to gather many supporting documents to show the Social Security Administration that you are unable to work or work enough to bring in a substantial income.

Who can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?

You can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are not able to work because you have a medical condition that will result in death or last for at least 12 months
  • Aren’t receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
  • Haven’t been denied benefits in the last 60 days

If you meet these requirements and want to make a claim, you will need to gather information and apply for disability. The Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application has a list of all the information that the Social Security Administration will want. Some of those details will include your history of military service, a list of your medical conditions, your job history and any training that you have.

Once you gather that information, you’ll complete a disability benefit application and complete a medical release form.

What happens after you apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

The application is online, so after it’s submitted, it will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration. If the SSA needs more information, then it will reach out to you directly to request it.

Following this, the SSA will process the application and let you know if you are approved for benefits. Don’t be surprised if you are not, because many people are not approved upon the initial application. If you are not, then there is a process for making an appeal that you will be able to use.

If you are ready to apply, get to know your legal rights and responsibilities. Knowing that your application is thorough enough may help reduce the likelihood of a denial.

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