The application process for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits involves lengthy forms, substantial evidence, and often long wait times. A single mistake in any part of the application could end your claim with an unfavorable decision.

10 Tips to Improve Your Chances at Winning Your SSD Claim: Know Your Benefits

There are two types of SSD benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is available to adults who have worked, became disabled, and can no longer work. SSI is available to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.

Tip #2 – Start Your Application as Soon as Possible

The longer you wait to file for disability benefits the longer it will take for your payments to begin. While you may be eligible for retroactive benefits back to the time you became disabled and unable to work, you will still have to wait through the processing of your application to receive your first check.

Tip #3 – Gather Your Documents

When you go to fill out the Adult Disability Report and your SSD application you will need to provide information about your medical history:

  • doctors names and when you saw them;
  • medications taken, past and present;
  • employment history;
  • education history; and
  • personal details.


Having these records on hand will make this step of the application process go much faster and reduce the risk of errors.

Tip #4 – Have Someone Double-Check Your Application and Forms

You are allowed to have another adult such as a family member or disability attorney help you prepare and review your application. Another set of eyes can catch any errors or omissions that could delay or deny your application.

Tip #5 – Don’t Embellish Information about Your Disability

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) may investigate your application in many ways such as conducting independent consultative examinations. If you falsify the severity of your condition and impairment your application may be denied even if it was a viable claim.

Tip #6 – Respond Promptly

The DDS may contact you to:

  • send additional information;
  • clarify certain parts of your application; or
  • set up an appointment.


You may be given a deadline for your answers, so it’s best to respond as soon as possible to avoid missing that deadline.

Tip #7 – Attend all Exams and Hearings

When the DDS schedules a consultative examination or hearing you must make sure you attend. If you cannot make a scheduled event, contact DDS at once to reschedule if you miss a meeting it may cause your application to be delayed or denied.

Tip #8 – Be Patient

The Social Security Administration (SSA) handles hundreds of thousands of applications for disability benefits every year. Depending on the complexity of your case and the amount of supporting documentation, your claim may take a few weeks to over a year to decide.

Tip #9 – Be Proactive

Disability benefit claims typically take several months for a decision to be issued. However, this does not mean you should just sit back and wait. If you have not had an update on your claim in over a month you may wish to contact the SSA to request the status of your application.

Tip #10 – Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney

Markhoff & Mittman helps residents of New York City and the surrounding areas collect the SSD benefits to which they are entitled. If you need help filing your claim or starting an appeal, contact our offices to schedule a free consultation: 866-205-2415 or (866) 205-2415.