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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) FAQs

Common SSDI Questions

Q. Where Do I File My Claim for SSDI Benefits?

You can file a claim with our office, in person at your local Social Security office, by calling 1-800-772-1213, or online at www.ssa.gov. After you have filed an application for benefits, the SSA turns over your claim to your state’s division of Disability Determination Services (DDS), which will consider and determine your claim.

Q. Do I Need to Wait 12 Months Before Filing a Claim for SSDI Benefits?

No. If your doctor determines you are unable to work for 12 months or more, you should file for benefits immediately. By waiting longer than necessary to apply, you risk losing benefits to which you are legally entitled.

If you are eligible to receive SSDI benefits, you can only recover retroactive benefits for the twelve-month period preceding the date you submit your application for benefits. If you wait more than a year from the date you stop working to apply for benefits, you risk losing more benefits with each passing month.

Q. How Long Does It Take to Get a Decision for Social Security Disability?

It can take anywhere from a month to two years to get a response on your disability application. While we can’t guarantee a timeline to receive benefits, we can assure you our office will be doing everything we can to ensure your claim is in good shape and moving as quickly as possible through the lengthy process.

Q. Can I Work Part-Time and Receive Disability Benefits?

If you are unable to work full-time hours, you can generally still receive Social Security benefits. However, every case is different. Disability benefits are intended for those who suffer from conditions that prevent them from working and earning a living.

If you surpass the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit while working part time, you may jeopardize your benefits. Our experienced disability lawyers will be able to help you understand how any part-time work may affect your eligibility for benefits.

Q. Should I File for Unemployment Benefits While Waiting for the Government to Determine My Claim for SSDI Benefits?

No. When you file for unemployment benefits, you generally have to state that you are physically and mentally capable of working. This contradicts your claim for disability benefits, in which you’ll specifically state that you are unable to work for 12 months or more due to your condition.

If you have received unemployment benefits at any time during the period you allege that you were disabled, the SSA may deny you SSDI benefits.