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What should I know about the disability application process?

In order to claim benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must submit an application. This entails providing certain information, answering questions, and other essential steps.

Navigating this process efficiently is a huge factor in whether the SSA accepts your application. Here are the steps you can expect, which will improve the chance of acceptance.

Gather information

You provide information on the medical condition causing disability, your work history, and personal info. Personal information includes date of birth, marriage and divorce records, information on minor or disabled children, and whether you served in the military. You will also need info regarding any employers you worked for the previous two years prior to your application submission.

Fill out the application

Once you have all the necessary information, you can fill out the application. You can complete your application online or use a paper hard copy. Be sure to check and re-check the information to make sure it accurately reflects your medical condition and employment status.

The SSA reviews the application

The SSA will compare your medical condition to see if it matches the list of disabling conditions. If it does not, you may still receive benefits, you just might need to provide further information. The SSA will also check your employment history to ensure you have sufficient work credits.

The SSA sends your case to the Disability Determination Services

After assessing your application, the SSA sends the information to the Disability Determination Services office located in your state. It is the Disability Determination Services that make the decision to approve or deny benefits.

In the event the Disability Determination Services denies your initial application, you can appeal their decision. To appeal, send a written request to the SSA within 60 days. From there, you may receive a reconsideration, an administrative law judge hearing, a Social Security Appeals Council review, or a federal court review.