How Will I Know if I’m Approved or Denied for SSDI? What Do I Do After That?

How Will I Know if I'm Approved or Denied for SSDI? What Do I Do After That?

Every time you collect a paycheck, part of your payroll taxes go into a general disability fund. The Social Security Disability Insurance fund is there to provide a kind of insurance policy, a safety net. Its purpose is to allow a working person the chance to submit a disability claim if they should become disabled and to provide coverage if they qualify.

The amount of coverage a disabled person can receive depends on how much he or she has paid into the SSDI fund over the course of their working life. It can also depend on the severity of the disability.

Many people wonder if their SSDI claims will be approved, how long it might take before they know they are approved, and what to do after they are approved or if they are denied SSDI.

Here, we will answer these and other essential questions concerning those who apply for SSDI.

How to Apply for SSDI

You can apply online by visiting or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Representatives will make an appointment to take your application by phone or at a social security office near you. You may also be provided with a Disability Starter Kit, which will help you prepare for the application process. Kits are available for adults and persons under 18.

How Do I Know if My Claim Is Approved or Denied?

You will receive a notice by mail, which will tell you whether your claim was approved. Unfortunately, there is no specific time frame within which your claim is sure to be processed. The time it takes to process a claim depends on how much staff the social security office has on hand, how many claims they have to handle, and the complexity of those claims. Weekends and holidays also slow the process down.

In most cases, it will take between 30 and 90 days to process your claim. To know what your chances of approval are, you should understand the definition of disability according to the Social Security Administration.

What to Do if I Am Denied for SSDI

Some 70% of disability claims are initially denied. If your application for disability benefits is turned down, don’t give up – you still have options. The two most common mistakes people make after they are denied is to give up or to apply all over again – making the same mistakes they made the first time.

Many applications are turned down because of missing information, missing or incomplete forms, or because the application was completed incorrectly.

When you are denied, you have the option of filing an appeal. What happens when you file an appeal is that another representative will review your forms and reconsider your case. In most cases, it is best to add additional information that you may not have included with your first application.

If you can afford to, hiring a lawyer to work with you as you put your paperwork together will give you the best chance of being approved.

Review the SSDI Blue Book to make sure you have provided enough evidence that you are disabled and cannot work and that you qualify for coverage.

My Claim Was Approved; What Now?

If, after the long wait, you are finally approved, you will receive payments in arrears for the time you were unable to work up until the present. Payments will continue on a monthly basis for as long as you are deemed to be unable to work due to your physical condition or disability.

You should know that there is a five-month waiting period between the time you are approved and the time when your first check will be sent. You should do your best to be prepared to weather this interim period.

The amount you receive will depend on your previous income and the amount of time you worked in recent years. Today, the Social Security Administration prefers to deposit funds electronically via direct deposit. You can still receive physical checks, but it is faster, easier, and more economical for everyone to use the direct deposit option.


  • If you qualify for SSDI and have dependents, they may also receive benefits.
  • Taxes may apply to your benefits if you collect more than $44,000 in benefits.
  • The continuation of your benefits will depend on a regular review of your condition. If your condition is believed to have improved and that you can work, benefits may be discontinued. If you believe you are truly unable to work, it is crucial to make sure that your continued disability is clearly and fully communicated with SSA during their reviews.

Optimize Your Chance of Approval

Working with an attorney who specializes in social security benefits is the best way to ensure that you qualify and that your application is full, complete and convincing. To learn more about SSDI and your chances of approval, get in touch with Joel Thrift Law today.