You may be wondering what the application process for Social Security Disability benefits looks like or have questions about how it works. Here in this guide, we have answered some questions you might have, like when to apply and when you are likely to receive your benefits.

While it may seem intimidating or confusing to apply, we have some pointers to help you through the process, so you receive your benefits in a timely manner. 

When do I apply for Social Security Disability Insurance?

You should apply for SSDI Benefits as soon as you become disabled. It may take anywhere from 3-5 months to a year for your application to be processed when you request SSI or SSDI benefits. Because of this waiting period, it is all the more essential to apply as soon as possible or, better yet, as soon as you get your diagnosis to get the process moving so you can receive your benefits. 

You can apply for your benefits any time after receiving your diagnosis. Still, there is a mandatory 5-month waiting period after receiving your diagnosis before you'll be granted Social Security disability benefits. So, applying as soon as you get your diagnosis is crucial to ensure you do not need to wait any longer than necessary. 

How do I apply for Social Security?

There are a few options when it comes to applying for your SSI or SSDI benefits. You will first need to fill out the Social Security Disability Report and the application for SSDI. You can complete this application online, or if you prefer, you can print and fill it out and either bring it or send it to your local social security office. 

You'll fill out the application because the Social Security Administration needs information about you before they can help. Make sure you have the correct documents on hand when applying, such as your social security card and your ID. The SSA will need your full name, birth certificate, social security number, and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, or clinics that have tended to you. Be sure to include dates for the doctor visits, hospital visits, clinic visits, and any medications you may be taking as well as the dosage. 

The Social Security Administration will also need medical records. That includes records from any doctors, hospitals, therapists, clinics, and any lab or test results you may have. In addition, you will need to complete a few more forms regarding your diagnosis and medical history and how your disability affects your ability to work. These steps are necessary to get access to your Social Security benefit. 

What makes one eligible for benefits? 

There are a few things that can make one eligible for benefits. You may receive benefits if you are blind or disabled and have gone through the process of filing for disability. You can be eligible if you have enough on your earnings record, are 62 or older, and have enough work credits.

When can I start collecting Social Security benefits?

You can collect your Social Security benefits after the five-month waiting period after you get approved. You must first become approved by the Social Security Administration; then, you have to wait for the required five-month waiting period before you can collect your benefits. This means you will receive your first benefit payment after six months from the date given to mark the beginning of your disability. 

What should I know before applying for benefits?

A representative from the Disability Determination Service will interview you and review your application for disability benefit. This interview will take place via phone or in person at your local or closest Social Security office. The interview is estimated to take at least an hour. Still, you can cut your time down by preparing ahead of time. Fill out the application and complete your disability report before your interview; things should go more smoothly. 

Can I be sure that I will be approved for benefits?

To qualify for benefits, you must meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disability. Typically they will pay monthly benefits to those unable to work for a year or more due to their disability. Social Security has a strict definition of disability. This is why they require all of your medical records and the history of your disability. The benefits usually continue until you can work again. If you enter retirement while on social security disability insurance, these will turn into social security retirement benefits, but the monthly benefit amount remains the same throughout this transition. Given you have provided proof of disability and proof of employment inability, you should be looking at a chance for approval. A disability lawyer is always helpful, but certainly not needed for success.

When should I start applying for retirement benefits?

You should apply for your retirement benefit four months before you wish to retire. You must be age 62 (retirement age) for an entire month before you are eligible to receive the benefits. The application process is completed after a few short steps—you must begin by gathering all the information needed to apply, then complete and submit your application. Once the SSA has reviewed the application, they send a letter specifying whether or not you are eligible. If you've been approved, only then will you receive your Social Security retirement benefits. 

How can Trajector help me?

Here at Trajector, we aim to help the disadvantaged, including those who have given military service and those with disabilities, receive the necessary government benefits. Our goal is to help those who are disabled receive the benefits they legally, ethically, and medically deserve from the government and other resources. By bringing clarity and confidence through a rather difficult, frustrating, and emotional process, we provide solutions to those who need the benefits they deserve. It can be an overwhelming time when applying for disability, but here at Trajector, our goal is to help those in their time of need receive the assistance they both require and deserve. Many Americans struggle to get the disability benefits they are entitled to due to a confusing system, but we are here to help. So reach out, and we'll get started together.