The Disability Claim Process
SSA Disability Claim Process
The SSA Disability process involves many levels both administrative and judicial. Each step includes another review of the medical and non-medical evidence. The flow chart below illustrates the steps from application to award.
Here is a general overview of the SSDI claim process: Determine Eligibility: The first step in the process is to determine if you are eligible for SSDI benefits. You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years to qualify. Additionally, you must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disability, which means it must be severe enough to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or result in death. Submit Application: If you are eligible for SSDI benefits, the next step is to submit an application. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at your local SSA office. You will need to provide personal information, work history, and medical records to support your claim. Application Review: After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by an SSA representative. They will evaluate your work history and medical records to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for SSDI benefits. This process can take several months. Disability Determination: If your application is approved at this stage, the SSA will send your claim to the state disability determination agency. A disability examiner will review your medical records and other evidence to determine if you meet the SSA's definition of disability. Appeal Process: If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The first step is to request a reconsideration, which involves a review by a different disability examiner. If your claim is still denied, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge. If your claim is still denied after the hearing, you can appeal to the Appeals Council and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in federal court.