Applying, qualifying, and eventually receiving SSDI benefits can seem like an overwhelming process, especially if you don’t know where to begin. If you’re starting this journey to receive financial relief, you’re not alone.
According to the Social Security Administration, roughly 9 million Americans receive disability benefits each year, and that doesn’t include the millions more living with some form of disability.
If you plan on applying for SSDI benefits in Minnesota, you’ll need to understand how the process works and where to begin.
What Is SSDI?
The Social Security Administration is one of the largest federal programs designed to help assist United States citizens in financial need. Two main programs offer cash benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefit program that pays you, and potentially other members of your family if you are disabled. To qualify for this insurance, you need to be under 65 and have contributed enough to Social Security payroll taxes throughout your life. Spouses and minor children can potentially qualify to receive auxiliary benefits as well. This is the main difference between SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Supplemental Security Income is an additional government program that’s available to people based on their financial needs. It has a similar application process as SSDI and is a great option for individuals who haven’t earned enough tax credits or have never worked.
Depending on your case, you could receive both SSDI and SSI benefits. You can also check the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool to get an idea about program qualifications.
How to Begin the Process
If you’re applying for social security benefits in Minnesota, you’ll need to be prepared for what to expect. Follow the step by step guide to apply for SSDI.
Step 1: Gathering Information
While this may be the most tedious part of the process, it is necessary to help paint a picture of your limitations, needs, special requests, and all other essential information. See a complete list of what to collect for your application below:
- Copy of your tax return or W2s
- Job positions for the past 15 years
- Any worker’s compensation you’ve acquired
- Certified military discharge papers (if applicable)
- Medical Records
- Social security numbers for you, your spouse, and any minor children
- Proof of U.S. citizenship: passport, green card, or naturalization papers
- Certified copy of your birth certificate
- A comprehensive list is prescriptions and medical tests
- Finally, names and contact information for your primary and all specialists you’ve treated you.
Once you’ve gathered all essential information, it’s time to submit your application.
Step 2. Fill Out Your Application
There are two different ways you can apply for social security: online or an appointment with Social Security. Now, if you do live in an at-risk situation or need urgent help, you can get more hands-on help with the Social Security application.
You are only eligible for beginning benefits five months after the start of your disability. Once they start, you will receive monthly payments that average around $1,300. It will still take an additional two years before you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare health insurance, so consider that.
Remember, it may take a while for your application to be fully processed. This can be both financially and emotionally taxing as you try to navigate bills and adjust to your new situation.
Questions Social Security Will Ask
To determine the extent of your disability and your financial needs, you will be evaluated on the five major questions below.
- Are you working?
- What’s the severity of your medical condition?
- Does your impairment qualify?
- Are you able to perform your previous job?
- Can you work any other job?
If you are still working or able to work, you may not qualify for SSDI. It’s also important to take into consideration both your impairment and the severity of it. If you are unsure about how to answer these questions, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer to help.
Step 3. Don’t Give Up If Your Application Was Denied
If your claim was denied, you’ll need to file an appeal. While this will draw out the process, especially if you need to have a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, it’s well within your right to try. More than half of SSDI denials can be reversed through appeals.
If your application was denied, and you’re unsure of what to do next, contact the Social Security Disability attorneys at Mottaz & Sisk. We offer free consultations to help assess your situation and guide you through the process.
Step 4. Explore Intermediate Options While You Wait
While you are waiting for your application to be approved, explore other options for receiving financial benefits. Thankfully, Minnesota has several great programs to help financially while you wait for your case to be processed or Medicare to start.
- Minnesota Assistance (MA)
- Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
- General Assistance (GA)
Don’t forget to check if your employer has some form of disability insurance available as well.
Why Should You Work With an SSDI Lawyer?
There are several great reasons to work with an SSDI specialized lawyer as you navigate this extensive process.
- Free Consultations
- No Attorney Fees Unless You Receive Benefits
- Built-in Advocate for Your Needs
- Work With An Experienced Team
- Step by Step Guidance
- Expertise in Legal Process
- Award-Winning Reputation and Record
It’s likely you have questions about SSDI benefits, and the experienced attorneys at Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law are here to help.
Seek Out Assistance in Applying for SSDI Benefits
Minnesota Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability Laws are always changing. That’s why it’s important to work with a law firm that has expertise in applying for SSDI benefits to help you step by step throughout this process. At Mottaz & Sisk, our knowledgeable and award-winning lawyers are constantly staying up-to-date with the latest qualifications and application requirements.
We can help you gather essential information, assess your eligibility, help you apply, and even help appeal your case. You don’t have to go through this alone. Contact us for a free consultation or fill out our online form. Our team is ready to help you fight for your SSDI benefits.