Richard A. Gutstadt, P.C.
Northern California SSI & SSDI Appeals

Oakland Social Security Disability Law Blog

How to apply for Social Security Disability benefits

If you become disabled and feel that you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it's imperative to complete an application without delay. Holding off for any reason can make it more difficult to receive the benefits you're entitled to.

There are three ways to apply for SSD benefits:

  • Complete an application on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website
  • Visit your local Social Security office (you can also call this office for assistance)
  • Call the SSA

What are the mental disorders that qualify for disability?

If you're looking into your Social Security Disability (DDS) options, you should know that mental disorders can qualify you just like physical disabilities would. Disability is not all about injuries or physical issues. If you suffer from a serious mental disorder, it can absolutely make it impossible for you to focus on a career, and you can look into financial assistance options as a result.

So, what disorders qualify? Perhaps the easiest way to explore them is to look at the 11 main categories that the government has recognized. They are:

  1. Neurocognitive disorders
  2. Autism spectrum disorder
  3. Eating disorders
  4. Impulse-control disorders and personality disorders
  5. Intellectual disorder
  6. Neurodevelopmental disorders
  7. Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) and anxiety
  8. Bipolar disorder, depressive disorders and related disorders
  9. Disorders related to trauma and stressors, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  10. Somatic symptom disorder and disorders related to it
  11. Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia spectrum disorder

Social Security disability: What to do about a denied claim

There may come a time when you need to file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplement Security Income (SSI). While the process itself may appear straightforward, there are small details that can lead to a denial.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) can deny your claim for a variety of reasons, with the following among the most common:

  • You did not provide sufficient medical evidence to back up your claim
  • Your disability isn't expected to last longer than 12 months
  • Your disability is not severe enough
  • Your disability is related to a drug or alcohol addiction
  • You're still able to perform your job or some other type of work
  • You did not adhere to the medical treatment strategy outlined by your doctor
  • You went back to work before proving your disability

Key points to note about the Social Security Disability process

It's going to take a bit of time.

That briefly stressed point is perhaps the fundamental takeaway for Social Security Disability Insurance applicants to appreciate when they file for federal benefits they are entitled to as the result of substantial and enduring disabilities.