Wonder how much you'll get?
View the SSDI Pay Chart for 2024

SSDI Benefits in Montana

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal insurance program that provides financial assistance to people who are unable to work due to a severe, long-term disability. It's funded by payroll taxes, which means you earn eligibility for SSDI by working and paying Social Security taxes throughout your career.

About the Social Security Administration (SSA)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency that oversees SSDI. Their role involves receiving and processing applications, determining eligibility, calculating benefit amounts, and distributing payments to eligible individuals.

The agency also manages the appeals process for denied applications and conducts regular reviews to ensure current beneficiaries remain eligible for benefits.

How to Qualify for SSDI

To be eligible for SSDI in Montana, you must have a disability that prevents you from working your previous job.

In addition to meeting the definition of disability, you must have earned enough work credits. The amount needed varies by age, but generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled.

How Does the SSA Define Disability?

The SSA has a strict definition of disability. To qualify, your condition must significantly limit your ability to perform basic work activities, such as walking, sitting, or remembering for at least one year.

Your disability must also be severe enough that it's expected to last at least a year or result in death. Unlike some programs, the SSA doesn't offer benefits for partial or short-term disabilities.

What Are Work Credits?

Work credits are the units you earn when you work and pay Social Security taxes. The number of work credits you need for SSDI depends on your age when you become disabled. Younger workers might qualify with fewer credits.

How to Apply for SSDI in Montana

Applying for SSDI in Montana is a straightforward process. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at a local Social Security office. The online application is available 24/7, and you can pause and resume the process as needed.

When you apply, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work history.

Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib

Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Information Needed to Apply for SSDI in Montana

When you apply for SSDI, you'll need to provide several types of information:

  • Personal Information: This includes your Social Security number and birth date.
  • Medical Information: You'll need to provide information about your medical condition, including the names and contact details of doctors and hospitals, a list of medications, and any tests you've undergone.
  • Work History: You need to provide a detailed account of your work over the past 15 years.
  • Income Information: This includes your most recent W-2 or tax return if self-employed.
  • Education and Training: The SSA might need information about your education and job training.
  • You should also prepare any other evidence that could support your claim, such as letters from doctors or therapists.

Consultative Examination

Sometimes, the Montana DDS might need more information about your condition. In this case, you might be asked to have a Consultative Examination (CE).

The CE is a medical exam done by a healthcare professional contracted by the SSA. They conduct the exam and send a report to the DDS. This report details your medical history, symptoms, exam findings, and the healthcare professional's opinion on your ability to work.


If your initial SSDI claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. There are four levels of appeal: reconsideration, hearing by an administrative law judge, review by the Appeals Council, and federal court review. You have 60 days from the date you receive your denial notice to file an appeal.

Hiring a disability lawyer is not required but can be beneficial. A lawyer understands the complexities of SSDI law and can guide you through the appeal process. They can help gather necessary medical evidence, represent you at hearings, and improve your chances of approval. Remember, disability lawyers work on contingency, meaning they only get paid if you win your claim.

Supplemental Security Income in Montana

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another program administered by the SSA. Unlike SSDI, SSI is not based on your work history but on your financial need.

To qualify for SSI in Montana, you must have a disability, be blind, or be over 65 and have limited income and resources.

Eligible guidelines require applicants to belong to one of the following groups:

  • Adults aged 65 and above
  • People who are blind
  • People who are unable to work because of a disability

Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html

Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213

Applying for SSI involves the same application process as SSDI. However, with SSI, you can be eligible for other benefits like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Remember, SSI and SSDI are different programs. While SSDI is based on your work credits and disability, SSI is based on your financial need. If you are disabled but do not have enough work credits for SSDI, you might still qualify for SSI.

Montana - Social Security Disability Office Locations

Office Code Name Address Weekday Hours Phone Number
868 BILLINGS MT Rm 304, 2900 4th Ave N, Billings, MT 59101 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-895-1795
869 GREAT FALLS MT 2008 23rd St S, Great Falls, MT 59405 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-583-4114
871 MISSOULA MT 3701 American Way, Missoula, MT 59808 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-931-9029
865 HELENA MT Ste 1600, 10 W 15th St, Helena, MT 59626 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-563-9496
866 BUTTE MT 2201 Harrison Ave, Butte, MT 59701 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-632-7068
872 KALISPELL MT 275 Corporate Dr, Suite D, Kalispell, MT 59901 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-487-0150
D92 BOZEMAN MT 3205 N 27th Ave, Bozeman, MT 59718 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 833-452-0419