SSDI 101:Social Security Disability Insurance in 2023

Your ultimate guide to navigating the world of SSDI! Unravel the application process, eligibility criteria, and the vital support it offers to those facing medically determinable disabilities. Join us as we dive into the heart of SSDI’s purpose and benefits, securing a brighter future for millions of Americans in need. Don’t miss this opportunity to understand how SSDI safeguards financial well-being and provides a crucial safety net in times of adversity! Let’s explore together and unlock the power of Social Security Disability Insurance in 2023.

How does Social Security Disability Insurance work?

SSDI is a federal program that provides monthly benefits to workers who have paid Social Security taxes on their earnings. However, applying for SSDI can be a complex and lengthy process. Here are some tips on how to apply for SSDI in 2023.

A picture showing a person working on the computer while seated on a wheelchair.source:(Getty images)
A picture showing a person working on the computer while seated on a wheelchair.
source:(Getty images)

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance in 2023

What is SSDI and who qualifies?

The United States government operates SSDI, a federal insurance program funded by payroll taxes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages this program and intends to offer monthly benefits to individuals with a medically determinable disability (physical or mental) that limits their employability.

To qualify for SSDI, you must meet two criteria: work and disability.

  • First, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to earn enough work credits. The number of work credits you need depends on your age when your disability begins. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins.
  • Second, you must have a medical condition that meets SSA’s strict definition of disability. This means that you cannot do any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of your impairment, and that your condition is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

How to apply for SSDI?

There are three ways to apply for SSDI: online, by phone, or in person.

The online application is the most convenient and fastest way to apply. You can access it at

You will need to provide information about yourself, your work history, your medical condition, and your treatment sources. Plus submit documents that prove your identity, citizenship, income, and medical evidence.

If you prefer to apply by phone or in person, you can call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office.

You will need to make an appointment and complete the same steps as the online application. However, this method may take longer and require more paperwork.

What happens after you apply?

After you submit your application, SSA will review it and contact you if they need more information or documents. They will also verify your work history and determine if you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI.

Then, they will send your case to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in your state. This state agency will evaluate your medical evidence and make a decision on whether you have a qualifying disability.

The processing time for SSDI applications varies depending on:

  • The nature and severity of your impairment,
  • The availability of medical evidence, and
  • The workload of the DDS office.

It can take anywhere from three to six months or longer to receive a decision.

You can check the status of your application online using your personal my Social Security account or by calling SSA.

What if your application is denied?

If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision within 60 days from the date you receive the notice.

There are four levels of appeal: reconsideration, hearing by an administrative law judge, review by the Appeals Council, and federal court review. Each level has its own procedures and deadlines that you must follow carefully. You can also get help from an attorney or a representative who specializes in SSDI cases.

Applying for SSDI can be a challenging and stressful process, but it can also be a lifeline for people who cannot work because of a disability.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting approved and receiving the benefits you deserve.

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