Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

disabled woman with carer in gardenMany people think that disability is something that happens to someone else. Unfortunately, disability is unpredictable and can happen to any person, at any age. Millions of Americans live with disabilities. Disability affects those afflicted and their families.

Social Security’s disability program provides medical and financial support to disabled individuals and their families in a time of need. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability. We pay benefits to people with a severe medical condition that prevents them from performing substantial work, and expected to last at least one year or result in death. Social Security does not pay benefits for partial disability or short-term disability.

We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The SSDI program provides benefits to disabled or blind people who worked and contributed to the Social Security trust fund as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The SSI program makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled people who have limited income and resources. SSI benefit payments do not come from the Social Security trust fund.

You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. To apply for disability benefits, you will need to complete an application for Social Security benefits. You can apply online. When you visit our website, select “Apply for Benefits,” and follow the link to get a Disability Starter Kit. This kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. If we find you’re eligible for Social Security disability benefits, there’s a five-month waiting period before we can begin your benefits. Applying for benefits as soon as you become disabled will allow for benefits to start sooner.

You can also call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), to make an appointment to apply for benefits at your local Social Security office or to set up an appointment for someone to take your claim over the telephone.

When disability strikes, Social Security is there providing financial support to people when they need it most.


110 thoughts on “Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

  1. This is totally BS…I’m a service connected veteran and I’m receiving social security as well as my Civil Service retirement pension.
    I live out here in the Pacific and the cost of everything is outrageous. We need the COLA out here to offset the costs of gasoline, groceries, prescribed meds etc.etc.

    • It’s not up to the Social Security Administration to give us a COLA, it’s the responsibility of Congress. And God knows they can’t get anything done.

      • Congress in our country local and state don’t have to worry about the poor because they are failing to do as the God said take care of the US who really are needy we should not have to struggle for food shelter medical coverage medical copay and not be educated on how to get care the agencies heads line their pockets and look down on the less fortunate as if we are nothing this is suppose to be the United States?


          • Ummm. Very interesting comment I agreed you until certain point. No everyone expecting for SSA claims are liars. Many people do really need them. That expression of “go and cry to another country to see what you get ” sounds a little bit racist.
            In my case I have been struggling with depression, anxiety, and other condiciona since almost two years ago.
            In my case it is bit “free money” Im contribuiting with the SSA since I was 16, talking back in 1982. Now, after 34 Years of a well deserved money the SSA have the audacity to tell me that my case is on schedule for reaching 2018. I explained my situation and they told me that the waiting time its the San e more less for everybody. So, after 34 Years of constribution, they care less if I become homeless with my daughter. Very interesting.

          • Thanks for sharing your comment in our blog, Patricia. If you’re referring to the length of time it takes to get a hearing, the waiting can vary from state to state. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. The good news is that we are trying to conduct many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC) to speed up the process. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information. To see if you are eligible to receive social services or other benefits from the state in which you live while you wait for a medical determination, contact your local social services office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information.

          • Quit your whining if you don’t like this country go to another one I have to say the disability judges in this country all Fruit Loops and they don’t know a disabled man from a disabled dog to give my disability to a kid who’s never worked or paid in disability and now my legs swell all the time unable to walk after paying to FICA almost 40 years and turned down seven times it’s it’s a total sham these judges live in la-la land hey quit your whining about nobody owes anybody anything nobody owes you nothing either

          • I know many who get veteran benefits and social security for her spouse disability that is deceased but I can’t get help

    • Live where is more reasonable. No one forces you to live in an expensive area and we are not responsible for supporting you.

      • He worked many years and paid into FICA, this is insurance, so he isn’t being supported by the people, he paid for this entitlement. Do your homework!

      • its not that easy to move somewhere cheaper, I want to move out of Baltimore and Washington dc to where theres beaches, I already live on a shoe string so why not where its nice like southern California

    • I agree – in Las Vegas – rents, electric, water, and now trash pick-up have all gone up! The beef at the stores is way up as is chicken and anything healthy! We should not be forced to shop at the dollar store for food because our government gives our COLA to refugees and other countries! GIVE US OUR MONEY DUE TO US!

      • I AGREE. Food,medicine and rent keep going up. Our inflation is not based on the cost of Steel and cement. What the hell are they doing in our basket when determining colas. Disabled people don’t buy much steel or cement! Down to eating oatmeal three times a day.

    • Harry, I live on the East Coast and the cost of everything is outrageous. I am disabled, physically, from a car accident 14 yrs ago (back injury). I take 15 different medications everyday, which adds up, with my discount card, to about $300 a month. I can’t qualify for Medicaid BECAUSE I MAKE $22 TOO MUCH. I have no other source of income. It’s hard, really hard. I can’t even afford house help, which I desperately need. So I feel your pain. As Bob Marley said “every man tink dat his burden is di heaviest”. May God bless you with all that you need.

  2. Is there a particular reason why SSA chooses to refer to people living with disabilities as “afflicted?” So negative and condescending. Surely Deputy Commissioner Walker doesn’t write this stuff, so who writes these blog posts for him anyway?

    • BEF,
      Disabilities are an “affliction”! Nothing is wrong or offensive in that word. Please do not try to be so polite to a point of prejudice.

      • It’s a very 1950s sort of way of depicting someone with a disability. There are many people with disabilities in this country, including wounded warriors, who’ve achieved great professional and personal accomplishments and who don’t view their disability as an “affliction.” Next SSA blog post will probably make reference to “the cripples,” “insane asylums,” or “retards.” This isn’t just about being politically correct–words matter.

    • I agree with Ingry Rod on this. I appreciate your sensitivity and your desire to be respectful. And I agree- the word ‘afflicted’ does carry a negative connotation. But, would anybody characterize totally disability as being a pleasant thing? Have we really gone so far with this PC BS that we cant even say that being totally and permanently disabled is undesired, unwelcomed, and a hinderence? Personally, I think it is actually more insensitive to not acknowledge the difficulties and the losses suffered by those who are by definition disabled. To have someone say. ” Hey, what happened to you sucks” actually to me seems more empathetic. You know?

      • I couldn’t agree more. Although SOME people have disabilities that allow them to adapt and carry on, there are those of us whose bodies are so messed up that we can’t. There’s no amount of want that can overcome my can’t. And I’m losing my vision. The cherry on the top is the brain fog from the pain meds. Also, CF, before you speak again please educate yourself. Your comments will have some credence then.
        Affliction- noun
        something that causes pain or suffering.
        “a crippling affliction of the nervous system”
        synonyms: disorder, disease, malady, complaint, ailment, illness, indisposition, handicap;
        suffering, distress, pain, trouble, misery, wretchedness, hardship, misfortune, adversity, sorrow, torment, tribulation, woe

  3. I have sever post polio syndrome and am 71yrs. old. My only income is social security. Could I possibly get disability?

      • the government DOES NOT pay both it all comes from the same golden pot. these are the same people that …a person dies on april 26 . the benifit check for that month arrives in may…. may? they take that payment back and not consider that they lived 26 days of april (that is received in may)..the family cared and the dead needed supplies and bills paid…. now wait … if that person had waited to die on may 1st…the payment for april can stay….ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!! social security doesnt do crap for those who did not have a job that pays retirement…those who are depending on social security to be the ONLY source of income gets screwed

      • So what happens at retirement age if part of your disability is based on a parent’s work record who is now dead and you turn retirement age? Do you have to accept retirement at a lower level? Or can you keep getting it with the survivors benefit added?

  4. SSI or SSDI, your quality of life will change from when you were working. But, without the assistance you’ll really have nothing! Life goes on no matter what! I’m thankful that I’m still alive by the Grace of GOD. I should have been dead If I didn’t have His hand of protection upon me!

    • Amen Steve.
      My God is a great god and he watches over me all the time. He supplies all my needs. He saved me when I had heart failure like 8 times. The hard times have really been a blessing because when you finally learn to LET GOD, he will always make a way outta no way. Just keep giving thanks for what we do have.

  5. I have Systemic Scleroderma and PTSD..YET I was denied two time and now have to wait for a Haring before a Judge..I worked my whole life. I told my husband SSA is just waiting to let me die..No income for over a year. Applied on April 24,2015. Things are bad at home. Real sick and yet DR’s who had my Medical reports state I could do the same job as before. I bet the DRS did not even read my job description and what I had to do WHICH I CANNOT DO ANYMORE….I cannot lift let alone carry Medical charts, I can not write anymore…Always dizzy from all the Meds I take each day, cannot even walk a straight line…Just sitting at home waiting to die….

    • When you get past the automatic turn downs and go to a Hearing with a Judge the burden of proof changes and they have to prove what you CAN do with an expert and that the jobs your CAN do are available in your immediate area. Only a very few listed conditions can get you approved in the early process but at a Hearing it all changes. Your age matters also especially when over 50.

      • But what do you do in the meantime? I’ve been told it will take approximately 18-24 months before I’m scheduled for a hearing. So no income until after then. I understand her feeling that they’re waiting on you to give up or die.

  6. I also would like to see the answer to this one…

    Charles M. Alexander on May 30, 2016 at 5:20 pm said:
    “I have sever post polio syndrome and am 71yrs. old. My only income is social security. Could I possibly get disability?”

    • No you can not. I was on disability and at 66 was switched to social security, same payment but different department.

    • Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries attain their full retirement age. If a person has reached his or her full retirement age (Currently 66) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they will not be eligible for disability benefits. The Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a program that pays benefits to disabled adult and children and the elderly with limited income and resources. Please read our publication about the SSI program for more information. We hope this information helps!

      • how poor or old do you have to be???? my husband and i together come no where near the “low “income for help for medicare is 75000.00 yr our social security is less than 35000.00 yr he was at his job for 20 + years and i had 13 years in…….no help no food card no medicaid nothing! we are 52……

  7. I think if you are already receiving SSA benefits you can’t get any additional SSA benefits because you are disabled, unless your SSA benefit amount is less than the current SSI monthly benefit amount.

    • You can if your disability began before you reached the full retirement age OR the amount of your income is less than the SSI amount plus 20 dollars.

  8. I strongly resent that many oldies who never worked in this country, immigrate from other countries and receive supplemental social security. It is a tax burden on tax paying people who work hard to earn their social security benefits. I strongly believe that supplemental social security should be paid only to those who are receiving social security.

    • That sounds great except what about the people like my son who were born with severe disabilities and were never able to work and therefore pay into the system? My son hasn’t paid dime one into social security-he simply is not able to contribute. In other words- he is DIS-ABLED. In my opinion, this is the population who should be the beneficiaries of the most assistance. But, so many others, and you know who you are, milk it for a free ride. You really ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Your choices do have a direct effect on the quality of life of some of the truly disabled- the people for whom SSI is in spirit meant to care for. Happily, for my son, I am able to pick up where the government leaves off. But there are many out there who are not as fortunate.

    • the question that started was social security RETIREMENT and social security DISABILITY paid at the same time …which no the government wont do

      • So then you can keep drawing disability? And not retire? It seems kind of crazy because you retired the minute you become disabled. Or does turning retirement age become an excuse to cut off survivors benefits?

  9. May 31, 2016

    I applied twice turned down both times. Waiting for my hearing on my appeal. I had to retain a lawyer.
    I am 100% disabled rating from the VA. They said that I was unlikely to get another job. PTSD is a devastating disease.

  10. My/Daughter has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), uses a walker and has been turned down twice. She has an attorney and is awaiting a court date. Both denials used the same language obviously from a computer. There is no way she could do her job and stopped working early this year.

  11. How stupid are your agents on the main number? For a YEAR when I need to call I’ve been telling them my address is changed. Funnily enough they got it the first time for my DI. They STILL have not changed it for my SSI. What, like I’d live in two different places, even if the towns are only a mile and a half apart?

    I changed my bank info. I TOLD them it was for the DI and the SSI. They changed it for the DI. Guess what? Not for the SSI. Seriously? Yes, I kept the old account open just in case, but what if I had moved out of state rather than across town? Ye gods! I call the SSI office, they can see both, they tell me they can. Is it sheer laziness that keeps them from entering it into both, or is it stupidity? Now I have to call again tomorrow to straighten this out. Again. I have to waste hours of my life waiting on callbacks from you guys because your agents can’t fill in paperwork properly the FIRST time? Oh, and BTW? That address change? I didn’t just call and give it, I wrote a flippin letter to the Harrison, AR office, and THEY didn’t change it either! ARG!

    • You can’t just call and change your SSI mailing address like you can with social security. SSI is also based upon your living arrangements. Go in to the local office for an interview.

    • This is prime example where online account with as is great, you have control over changes. You can sign on and take care of it.

  12. Why does it take so long to get an evaluation? What are people supposed to do while you keep them waiting for years? Starve?

    • Kay, we care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. The length of time it takes to receive a decision on a disability claim can vary depending on several factors; primarily, the nature of the disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from doctors or other medical sources, and if the claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application.

      In the mean time, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office.

      • I live in Tennessee I had a bad car wreck in April2014 suffered a spinal burst from L1to T11 had a major back surgery to clean out all of the pieces of my spine then rod and screws to hold my spine together and my body weight up I was transferred to shepherd center in Atlanta Georgia to learn how to live with a wheelchair they filed my disability for me I wasn’t suppose to ever walk again I was paralyzed for 2 months but with God’s help I finally got were I can stand up and can walk now I still can’t feel my legs from my knees to my waist my bladder doesn’t work my bowels don’t work but I been denied 2 times now and said I would get a hearing in 18 months I can’t get state help since I been denied for disability am on my last leg have no money no food no nothing but they say there board for decisions know there job but they have no medical Drs or anyone with a medical degree making decisions on your life and they could careless if you die waiting on them that’s what they want you can Google my injury and it’s easy to read nobody walks from my injury the Dr doesn’t know how am able to walk slow and weak can’t feel my butt or midsection my Drs have made notes on my medical records I can’t work but there decision board knows better I use a catheter to piss I use a box of rubber gloves to clean poop out of my bowel cavity with my fingers if you think that is easy then try it without the proper bathroom medical equipment because I can’t afford it my medicine is around a thousand a month which I have no money to get it’s been over 2yrs and been denied twice now there giving 18 months to die before I see a judge it’s nothing but a government joke when your really are crippled but I know people on disability for anxiety and a single skipped disc and they have motorcycles and canoes and paddle boards and in there 30syears old there injury is nothing like mine and they didn’t wait even 2 yrs my spine is exploded just like dynamite exploded in my spine there’s no way they looked at my condition and medical reports and denied me twice and now tell me it could be 18 months before I see a judge wish they would explain to me how and what am suppose to live on its total b’s wish the entire board and to put rubber gloves on and lube up there fingers and try to clean there bowels cavity out twice a day on a regular toilet instead of the proper chair twist around for about a hr and try and run your fingers up far enough to clean it out with rods and screws in your spine it’s nothing except a phoetic joke if you have any suggestions feel free to call me 423 260 8125 and explain the boards way of turning you down twice do they not research your injury or Drs comments they hope you die and don’t have to pay you anything there trained robots and yes I am very upset about the government decision process then tell me on the phone that me not having food to eat and money to pay for medicine or food wasn’t there problem then who’s is it then

        • It sounds like you are really suffering and I hope your case gets approved soon. Hang in there.

  13. My sister will be 61 end of this year and has received SSDI due to an injury for the past 6 yrs. She is also married, but has low income, can she be eligible for SSI as well?

    • Yes, if your sister has low income and limited resources, she may be able to receive SSI benefits in addition to monthly Disability benefits. This is commonly referred to as “concurrent benefits.” To receive concurrent benefits, you must be approved for SSDI, but receive low monthly payments through the program.

      Remember that the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. The amount of SSI benefits is based, in part, on the income and resources available to your sister. For SSI eligibility, we will take into consideration any incomeand resources available to your sister. If her regular disability and spousal benefit combined are lower than the regular monthly SSI payment (of $733), then she may still be eligible for SSI. She may contact her local Social Security office for questions related to her benefits.

    • The SSI program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. The amount of SSI benefits is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual. For SSI eligibility, we will also take into consideration any income and resources available to the spouse. Your sister can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives for further assistance. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  14. Can a person who is 73 years old who is retired hasn’t worked in 10 years apply / receive disability payments ?

    • Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries attain their full retirement age. If a person has reached his or her full retirement age (Currently 66) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they will not be eligible for disability benefits. The Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a program that pays benefits to disabled adult and children and the elderly with limited income and resources. Please read our publication about the SSI program for more information. We hope this information helps!

  15. Aren’t most people denied on their first attempt at getting SSDI? I can’t believe for the life of me of any person simply applying on line for SSDI and getting right away: the PR effort by SSA has to be commended.

  16. Social security has an extremely Liberal, politically correct agenda based definition of disability which DOESN’T include people who are physically disabled. For example, if a disabled woman marries an able bodied man (or another able bodied woman), they are miraculously cured of their physical disability and become in-eligible for any Social Security benefits. How’s that for equal and fair treatment?

    Ive had Cerebal Palsy since birth and now I am an adult (often called an adult- disabled child). The older I get, the worse my physical disability becomes. I applied for benefits under the “Adult disabled child” program (which should be called the “marriage hate program”) and was turned down because I got married. Isn’t that amazing how getting married somehow cured my disability. Thanks for nothing, Socialist Security administration, you have been absolutely no help to me whatsoever.

    P.S. I am 44 years old, I have been permanently and totally disabled since birth, I have cerebal palsy. I am unable to work, no one will hire me because of my disability. I can not find gainful employment and my hopes and dreams of ever having a normal job, have long since faded. Socialist Security has never been there for me, even when I needed them the most. Of course the occasional jobs I have had, the Socialist Security System was sure to grab their share of my paycheck, that they never forgot! Yes, I have paid into Social Security, Yes, I am permanently and totally disabled, no- attorneys could care less about me because my case is not a “handed to them on a silver platter” case and most of the attorneys I have run into just wanted a giveme case.

    also, I have NEVER received ONE RED CENT of disability money from the “anti marriage” Socialist Security System, EVER! Plan on hearing from me often, I will continue to speak out against the Socialist Security System for as long as I possibly can.

    Have a great day!

    • Disabled adult child benefits mean that you getting benefits from a parent, you were disabled before age 22 and you are being supported by your parent. When you marry then your parent is no longer supporting you and that is why you lose the benefits from your parent’s record.

      • So, unless I married a millionaire, now you have two people, living off only ONE income. How does this help at all?
        Disabled people have a VERY hard time finding any work at all, and no hope of finding a career (believe me- I have tried).

        How does getting married actually make me any less disabled? My parents never applied for social security benefits for me, even thought I was born with cerebal palsy. When I applied for benefits after I got married, I was denied because of the “able bodied” marriage rule- which is nothing short of discrimination.

        • Thank you for your comments Tammy. We acknowledge your frustration and want to help. Under current law, we are able to pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program or SSDI and the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program. SSDI benefits are based on the individual’s earning from a job and his or her contributions to the Social Security program. A “Disabled Adult Child” can qualify for benefits under the SSDI program, if the mother or father is receiving Social Security benefits or is deceased. However, federal law requires that the “disabled adult child” must be unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a disability that started before age 22.
          The SSI program in the other hand is a needs based program that can also pay benefits to individuals that are disabled, age 65 or older and have limited income and resources. We must also take into consideration the income and resources available for the “disabled adult child” and this includes the income and resources of his or her spouse.

  17. Clarification:

    SSI is a program for disabled and elderly individuals who have little to no income. Currently the payment i $733.00 if you have no income and assets below $2,000.
    if you get married and you spouse has income that is above the SSI threshold then you will lose that benefit. SSI does not come from payroll with holdings.

    SSDI is bases on the FICA taxes that you or are relative in certain cases have paid into the system. If you have SSDI you benefits will not be cut off due to income.

    in order to quality for SSDI benefits on your own record you must have been working for part if the previous ten years.

    If you are receiving SSDI when you get to you full retirement age the acronym changes from SSDI to SSR.
    the payment amount does not decrease.

    yes congress needs to revise the laws so only people born in the United States are eligible to receive SSI payment. Don’t come to the USA for a handout.

  18. Those on SSDI did not get a raise this year due to the people in the Senate and House using to reason that gas prices were down. I personally gave up driving as I cannot afford a car note nor the insurance. I don’t know why they did not consider that the price of groceries has quadrupled as they don’t buy groceries, they use the credit cards that they get from the government. To make this simple, we pay for their food. They should be ashamed of themselves for their personal greed. Not many peoply know that if you are on Social Security Disabilty before your 65, they hold back 33% of what you should be awarded. I worked for 38 years, paid into the system, just to be duped by those we elect. We deserve better and not to be robbed. I’m a very educated person and will never digest how our government is allowed to cheat us out of our money..

  19. If you retire prior to your fill retirement age then yes you do receive a reduced amount. Add it up. if you wait to you reach full retirement you receive more money monthly. If you retire early the benefit you receive each month is less but at the end of the day the payments in total average the same amount or more than you would have received by waiting for full retirement age. it is about your life span, $733 * 240 months (20 years) = $175,950
    $1,000 * 120 months (10 years) = $120,000.
    Due the math when you plan your retirement. When you get closer to full retirement you can also work and receive your full retirement check.

  20. I am on SSD, and have been for a few years. When I applied, I was turned down several times and I had to get a lawyer. At that time no one wanted disability cases because they didn’t make any money. I search for a long time and I found some, but they were burned out and had gotten rather insensitive and mean. I finally found someone in a small town who took my case. It was a year and a half battle. My family and attorney helped me through this horrible ordeal. I was humiliated, discredited, and made to feel like I was less of a human being that should not be bothered with, just scraped off their shoe. The only thing that really keep me alive was my children, they were young and needed me. I am grateful for finally getting SSD, but it was at a high cost to me. My mental state was already fragile, they pushed me over the edge and it has and continues to be a battle. I was raised to work every minute of the day helping, doing, taking care of my family and community. I basically almost worked myself to death caring for family in need, my own family, and my community. I hope when I finally pass on, God will convince me it was OK I failed to take care of everyone because I got sick. I hope the system is better now and gives people respect so they don’t go through what I did. Good luck and God Bless.

  21. I have a Question I am unable to work due to my legs and other health issues , I have applied for Social Security Disability turned downed they claim I didn’t have enough credits. My question is can I file for early Social Securityy ? I am 61 years old and can not work, what can I do ?

  22. I worked for 40 years and became disabled in2013. I have had a spinal neck fusion and also have schirrosis of the liver and liver disease and suffer from depression. I have been turned down three times, I finally got an approval for disability, I got no back pay, I cannot receive the medicare for 2 more years. can not get help from fcps for medical help. the judge had issues with my lawyer and I ended up not getting any back pay ,I was already in the system before the new law was passed I have had no income for 3 years and now what? I feel that I should receive my back pay since I paid into this and made very good money. so now I am suppose to just die because my health does not matter, well you tell that to my children and grandchildren. is there a lawyer out there who can help me. my lawyer and the judge clashed in court and I believe that I did not get my back pay because the judge did not want my lawyer to get paid……

    • Donna, you may be able to file a complaint against you attorney and the judge that fought with your attorney. To do this you should get a hold of your states Attorney General and they can give you the information you need. Then get the paperwork and file against those two for improper way they handled themselves, believe it or not there are rules and laws against what they did especially the judge he is not allowed to do that to you because of not liking your attorney.
      You then may be able to get a new hearing and either force you attorney to represent you without cost to you as your attorney did not represent you properly and within the rules and laws of the state you are in . The judge would be either replaced per your request or ordered to properly rehear your case.
      Or you can also ask your State Attorney Generals office to recommend an attorney or they may have the States Bar Association give you a recommendation.
      You should also file a complaint with your States Bar Association, I believe that is what the States Attorney General will recommend you do and you can file against both your attorney and the judge that was over your case.
      Sounds to me like you do have a case against both of them for their conduct in the courtroom and on the bench.
      I hope it works out for you !
      Also you may want to know while you are waiting to be paid there is a little known rule that if SSDI knows you will be eligible for payment and you have to wait you could get paid from SSI until you start receiving your SSDI payment. You need to ask about that program, not sure what the name of it was , just tell them about it they will know.
      Good Luck !

  23. When is Congress going to realize that the cost of living has been going up everywhere on everything through out the year. Just because it may go down slightly for one or two months shouldn’t prevent COLA increases. Look at how many people today have been added to submitting for public assistance due to low wages and high prices of basic needs. Cost Of Living Adjustments is badly needed and way behind in getting it adjusted in today inflation.

    • Thank you for your question Diana. We have Work Incentives that allow people to work and still receive their benefits. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program if they work. However, their earnings cannot exceed a certain amount. This is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. In 2016, the SGA limit is $1,130 per month (or $1,820 for blind applicants). In addition to the amount of money you make, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work. We hope this information helps.

  24. my wife is totally disabled and 80 years of age.she only receives her regular retirement.i am 82 years old and received my ss . I fufnach all yhe help. can I get any help .I am getting to the point where I cant help her .what do I do now

    • Hello Mr. Johnson. You and your wife may be eligible to receive other assistance from the state where you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this helps.

  25. I just filed for SS benefits as I’ve reached by FRA. My wife previously filed under her own work record at age 62. I believe her benefits will increase under spousal benefits. Must she file again for spousal benefits or will the SSA automatically review her record and start paying her an increase if she is entitled? Thanks.

    • Good question Ed. If your wife qualifies for a higher benefit amount on your record, she would have to file an application. Please continue working with the office or agent that is processing your application. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Thanks!

  26. Name is Jeff W. I am a resident of Redondo Beach, CA and a VERY RECENTLY, approved applicant for Permanent Disability.
    That said, let me tell ALL who read this one thing. When you apply be 110% honest, when completing the extensive on line applicaton. Make VERY sure all information entered by yourself is ULTRA accurate and that includes all information from the hospitals, clinics, doctors, etc who will be the sources for your disability treatments. Make sure to show up, at worst, on time for your Mental and Physical exam appointments with doctors and answer their questions accurately,

    I HAD NO LAWYER or ADVOCATE and was approved for disability on my first try and it took about a month.
    A very close friend of mine helped me and attended the medical and mental exams with me. I approached the entire process with both integrity and made sure ALL the information, and I mean ALL the information I presented in writing was accurate and allowed the entire approval staff to move forward with my application. I got no calls back or requests for clarification.

    If you are accurate and honest, SS is the same and your application moves thru the system ultra well if they do not have to constantly check facts and question you.

    What more can I tell you??? Let me know. If you are entitled, truly disabled and have facts and figures to prove it, you will be a first try approved applicant like myself.

    I have not one gripe about the entire process because I was a model applicant. I was sent the two month grace period funds I deserved first via direct deposit in my checking account and November will be the first month of my monthly stipend being direct deposited.

    Be honest,accurate, timely and astute and you will get the same in return from all SS personnel.

    That is my story and I am thrilled that I was a first time
    candidate approval!!!

    Jeff W.

  27. I really like what was said in this article about social security disability insurance and the benefits of it. I really like how it has the ability to pay for a disabled person due to them being unable to work. I have a grandma who had this kind of insurance and it worked out really good for her.

    • Thank you for sharing Jay! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive.

  28. Hello. Our 5 year old son was approved for SSI benefits a couple of years ago. During that application process we disclosed that we have a Roth IRA worth around $30,000 in my wife’s name. She does not have access (without penalty) to those funds until she is 59 1/2 (she is 40 right now). Anyway, we were approved and since then I’ve seen on a couple of websites that we are not allowed to have these funds. One of the employees at our local office said it was ok. We’re very confused. Can we or can’t we have a retirement fund without it counting against our family’s asset limit? If they ever came back to us and said we are disqualified even though we were transparent with them about the funds is there a way we can spend those funds immediately (i.e on our house or a new car) and then resume receiving benefits? Or would we have to reapply for benefits after that money is spent and go through the application process all over again after a specified time? Sorry for all the questions, we just want to get the maximum benefits for our child while following the rules as best we can. Thank you.

    • Hi, Chris. Thanks for your questions. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can answer in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your son’s account in this venue. We do ask that members in our Blog community continue to work with their local office on specific questions about their case. You can call 1-800-772-1213, M-F between 7 AM and 7PM and ask a representative to assist you, or you can contact your local office. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this helps.

  29. My wife applied for and receives Social Security Disability benefits but we never received a ruling. Its been about a year. She was approved rather quickly and we received a decision letter but it only said that she is approved. It doesn’t state which of her conditions the reviewer used to determine her disability? She has severe anxiety, PTSD, a permanent foot disability and a degenerative spinal disease. Any of these ailments can be a valid disability but we would like to know what the judge said in his/her ruling. Is the ruling based on a single disabling condition or are all of these things included in their decision making process? Are we supposed to get something besides the approval letter that might explain their decision in detail? Thank you for your time.

    • Thank you for your question Ed. Your wife should have received a notice explaining the decision. She should contact the local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day or later in the week.

  30. I just applied online for social security disability, I have not been able to work since 1998. I had PTSD from having a gun to my head, I was afraid to leave the house, to drive, depression and panic attacks started, I still have these disorders, physically I have fragmented discs in 2 places in my spine, arthritis throughout body, carpal tunnel. Just turning 58 next week, medical records are extensive, old and current. My job at the local telephone no longer exists, I was forced to quit in 1998 after anxiety attacks started and temporary disability pay of 6 months was exhausted, I was told to apply for ssi, I was denied, now 20 years later I can not sit at a desk any length of time, I’ve not worked in all that time, worked 10 years at that company and since I was 16 prior, can I qualify for SSDI without not having worked for such a long period of time. My husband is disabled and has been getting UAW benefits that will be expire soon, he’s been told to file for early retirement at 62. so

    • Hi Grace. When it comes to qualifying for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program, you must be “currently insured” or have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. Thanks.

  31. I forgot to mention I have spinal stenois and numerous bone spurs throughout my spine, compressed nerves, etc, on pain meds, muscle relaxers, etc.

    • We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security disability insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits under the SSDI program. SSI is a needs based program that can pay benefits to disabled individuals and age 65 individuals or older, with limited income and resources. Generally, when you apply for disability benefits, we take applications for both programs. We hope this information helps.

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