If you’re thinking of applying for Social Security disability benefits, you probably have a lot of questions. And there’s a lot to know. How does Social Security (SS) decide if you are disabled? How long will it take before you get an answer? What services are available online? And the list goes on.
If you have a disability, the best thing you can do before applying for social security disability benefits is to learn as much as you can. That way, you know exactly what to expect and when to expect it, and you can plan accordingly.
Here are a few examples of things you might want to know.
How Does SS Decide If You Are Disabled
It’s a five step process in which SS considers various factors: what you do for work, what your medical condition is, and how your medical condition affects your work. SS is trying to determine:
- that your medical condition does not allow you to do the work you did before, and that because of that condition, you cannot adjust to another kind of work
- that you have a permanent disability, that is, a disability that will last at least a whole year
How Long Will It Take SS To Reach A Decision
If it’s the first time you are applying for Social Security disability, it may take SS between 3 and 5 months to reach a decision. If you are re-applying, and it has been less than five years since the last time you applied, the wait may be shorter.
There are a few factors that affect how long the decision takes.
- The nature of your disability may affect how long it takes.
- If SS needs to obtain medical evidence from your doctor, it may take longer.
- In some cases, SS will require you to send in a medical examination as evidence for your claim.
- In order to ensure quality, SS performs random reviews of certain claims. If your application is selected, it may delay the decision.
What Services Are Available Online?
SS provides a lot of information online to help you fill in and complete your application properly. You can even apply for Social Security disability benefits online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/.
If you’re applying for Social Security disability, the best thing you can do is get all the facts straight before you fill in your application. That way, there’s no confusion and no unwelcome surprises. If you have more questions, you can find a Social Security Disability Question and Answers to help you.