You are here: Home Government ... SSDI: Before You ... Summary
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

SSDI: Before You File Your Claim


Next »


Whether you are ready to file your claim for disability benefits now, or are preparing for filing for it in the future, there are steps to take before filing for SSDI and/or SSI that will make it more likely your claim will be successful. (If you're preparing for the future, it is worthwhile to read: It's Never Too Early To File A Claim).

If you're not ready yet, it is advisable to start getting prepared. Proper preparation will:

  • Speed the process.
  • Make it more likely to receive an SSDI award.
  • Save you time and energy later when you may not be feeling as well as you do now.

Social Security will determine if all the legal requirements are satisfied for you to be eligible for SSDI and/or SSI. A state agency, generally referred to as DDS, will determine whether you are "disabled." While these agencies are charged with doing the work, you still have the burden of proving you're entitled to SSDI and/or SSI. As a result, it is better that you do as much work as you can before filing, and that you stay on top of the process.

The steps to take before filing for SSDI or SSI that will make it more likely your claim will be successful are:

  • Check your Social Security earnings record. You receive one in the mail annually if you are working.  If you do not have your most recent form, or don't usually receive one, click here for information about getting a copy. If the information Social Secuerity has about your work credits is not correct, see: What To Do If Social Security's Record Of Your Earnings Is Not Correct
  • Look for a "friendly" office: If you can do it in a short period of time, try to locate a "friendly" office -- one that seems friendly to people with your particular health condition. While all Social Security offices are supposed to be alike, there may be differences. You don't have to file your application at the Social Security office nearest you. You can file in any office. Your local disease specific non-profit organization or friends, or support group members who have gone through a similar situation, may be able to steer you to offices that are better for SSDI claims in general and for people who have survived your health condition in particular. For contact information about Social Security offices, click on offsite link. All you do is type in the zip code in which you're interested.The DDS office that processes your claim is located in your state of residence. You will not have a choice where your medical claim is processed.

For more information, see:

When you are ready to file your claim, see: SSDI: Applying For Benefits

For an overview of SSDI: click here.

To Learn More

More Information

SSI 101 SSDI 101

Related Articles

Disability Income

Please share how this information is useful to you. 0 Comments


Post a Comment Have something to add to this topic? Contact Us.

Characters remaining:

  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
    All other tags will be stripped.