If you’ve become unable to work because of a permanent disability, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, such as SSDI and SSI. These programs have helped many people with disabilities continue living to the fullest after they’ve stopped working.

To be considered for Social Security benefits, your disability must be expected to last at least twelve months, or is terminal. However, getting benefits isn’t as simple as just applying. The process of receiving these benefits is known to be long and complicated, and the majority of applications are denied the first time.

Applying for disability benefits

When you apply for either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you’re actually applying for both. If approved, you’ll receive whichever one matches your work history, or a combination of both. SSI is reserved for those with little work history and great need, while SSDI is for those who have paid more in Social Security taxes.

To complete the application, you’ll have to provide details about your medical history, including your current health and any treatments you’re getting, as well as your work history. You’ll also be asked for other details about your life that may help assess your level of disability, such as your daily routine and any activities you’re unable to do.

At some point after you complete the application, you’ll receive an in-person medical evaluation. This may happen within a few months, or it may take significantly longer.

After you’ve applied

In most cases, completing the application is a fairly short process. Waiting to receive a decision, filing appeals, and managing your life without work is the greatest challenge.

You might receive a decision within a month, or it may take two to three months. Often, the first decision you receive will be a rejection. If this happens to you, you’ll need to file the first appeal, known as a Request for Reconsideration, and if that’s also unsuccessful, you’ll need to request a hearing.

The hearing is the stage where most people actually receive benefits, but it’s also the stage where many people become discouraged. Depending on where you live in Florida, it may take anywhere from several months to nearly two years for your case to be heard.

Applying for disability is not a fast or easy process, but it is worth it. No matter where you are in the application process, we’re here to help you through it. Contact our offices by phone, text message, or email. Schedule a free consultation today!