How to Apply for SSDI
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SSDI Benefits in Virginia
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) helps Virginia residents who are unable to work because of a disability. If you have a medical condition that keeps you from working, this program may be able to help.
To qualify, applicants must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration's definition of disability and have earned a sufficient number of work credits through their employment history.
About the Social Security Administration (SSA)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees the SSDI program, handling applications, determining eligibility, and processing monthly payments.
Along with SSDI, the SSA also manages other programs such as retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs provide valuable assistance to many Virginia residents.
How to Qualify for SSDI
To qualify for SSDI, you need to meet two main criteria.
You must have a medical condition that fits the Social Security Administration's definition of disability, meaning it severely affects your ability to work and is expected to last at least a year or lead to death.
You must also have earned enough work credits, which are based on your work history and the amount you've paid into the Social Security system through taxes. The number of credits required depends on your age, ensuring that eligibility is connected to your contributions to the system over your working years.
What Are Work Credits?
Sufficient work credits are required to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. These credits represent your contributions to the Social Security system through your employment.
To be eligible for SSDI, you typically need 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the last 10 years leading up to your disability. The specific number of credits required can vary based on your age at the time of disability.
Blue Book and Definition of Disability
The Blue Book is a guide that lists different medical conditions that can qualify as a disability. It tells what medical proof you need to show that your condition is severe enough to get SSDI. If your condition is not in the Blue Book, you might still qualify if you can show that it's as serious as the ones listed. Your disability must keep you from working for at least a year or result in death.
To have an approved disability means that you have a medical condition that keeps you from working entirely for at least 12 months.
If the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs more information about your disability, they might ask you to have a Consultative Examination (CE). This is a special medical check-up done by a doctor who works with the SSA. You don't have to pay for this exam &mdash the SSA covers the cost.
During the exam, the doctor will look at how your disability affects your daily life and your ability to work. They might ask you to walk, lift things, or perform other simple tasks. The doctor will also ask you questions about your medical history and how you feel.
The doctor will write a report and send it to the SSA. This report helps the SSA decide if you qualify for benefits.
How to Apply for SSDI in Virginia
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance in Virginia can be done online, by phone, or at a local Social Security office. If you're comfortable using a computer, applying online is usually the fastest way.
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.
If you'd like to talk to someone in person, you can visit your nearest Social Security office. Remember, SSDI is there to help if you have a medical condition that stops you from working. It's normal to have questions, so don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Social Security staff are trained to assist you.
Information Needed to Apply for SSDI in Virginia
When applying for SSDI, you'll need to provide some specific information. Having this ready will make the application process go more smoothly:
- Proof of Identity: Birth certificate, passport, or another form of ID.
- Medical Information: Details about your disability, including doctors' names, treatment dates, and medication.
- Work History: Information about where you've worked and what kind of work you did, especially in the last 15 years.
- Income Information: W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for the last year.
- Other Documents: Depending on your situation, you might need additional papers, such as military discharge documents if you're a veteran.
Gathering these documents before you start your application can save you time and may increase your chances of being approved.
Not all SSDI applications are approved the first time around. If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process in Virginia involves several steps:
- Reconsideration: A new person at the Social Security office will review your case. They'll look at all the original documents plus any new information you provide.
- Hearing: If reconsideration doesn't work, you can ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge. This gives you a chance to present your case in person.
- Appeals Council: If you're still not satisfied, you can ask the Appeals Council to review your case.
- Federal Court: As a last resort, you can file a lawsuit in a federal district court.
The deadline to appeal is 60 days from the date of your denial notice. Appealing a decision takes time and can be complex, but it's your right if you believe the original decision was wrong.
Hiring a Disability Lawyer
If your SSDI application is denied, you might think about hiring a disability lawyer. While it's not required, a lawyer who specializes in disability cases knows the system inside and out. An experienced attorney can guide you through the appeal process, help you gather the right information, and represent you during the hearing.
Disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. SSDI lawyers can charge a maximum amount of 25% of your back pay, or $7,200 &mdash whichever is lower.
Disability lawyers are available to help you make the strongest case possible. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the SSDI process, having a lawyer by your side can make a big difference. Whether you're just starting your application or need help with an appeal, a disability lawyer can provide valuable support and increase your chance of success.
Supplemental Security Income in Virginia
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program in Virginia offers financial support to people who have low income and are either 65 or older, blind, or disabled. This program is also administered by the SSA. However, unlike SSDI, which is based on the applicant's work history, SSI focuses on financial need.
Eligible applicants must meet low-income requirements and 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
To qualify for SSI, you must meet specific income and asset limits. Your wages, other money you receive, and your possessions like cash and personal property are considered. Also, you need to belong to one of the eligible groups: 65 or older, blind, or disabled.
Applying for SSI
Applying for SSI in Virginia is similar to applying for SSDI. You can apply online, by phone (call 1-800-772-1213), or at a local Social Security office. You'll need to provide information about your income, living situation, and medical condition if you're disabled.
Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html
Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213
Keep in mind that SSI is based on financial need, while SSDI requires a work history and work credits. You might qualify for one, both, or neither, depending on your situation.
In Virginia, if you qualify for SSI, you automatically become eligible for additional programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid. You can take advantage of additional benefits without having to apply for separate programs.
Virginia - Social Security Disability Office Locations
|Office Code||Name||Address||Weekday Hours||Phone Number|
|285||RICHMOND DTN VA||1834 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23220||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-679-6684|
|286||ROANOKE VA||Ste 100, 612 S Jefferson St, Roanoke, VA 24011||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-701-8179|
|287||NORFOLK VA||1st Fl, 5850 Lake Herbert Dr, Norfolk, VA 23502||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-858-6089|
|288||BRISTOL VA||3280 Lee Highway, Bristol, VA 24202||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-504-5013|
|289||LYNCHBURG VA||7618 Timberlake Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-6142|
|291||PETERSBURG VA||100 Poplar Dr, Petersburg, VA 23805||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-803-6322|
|292||DANVILLE VA||3295 Us Hwy 29, Danville, VA 24540||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-331-5398|
|293||NEWPORT NEWS VA||11706 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA 23606||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-331-9169|
|294||ALEXANDRIA VA||Ste 200, 5510 Cherokee Ave, Alexandria, VA 22312||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-472-2402|
|297||CHARLOTTESVILLE||District Office, 1470 Pantops Mtn Pl, Charlottesville, VA 22911||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-613-3959|
|318||RESTON VA||Ste 100, 10800 Parkridge Blvd, Reston, VA 20191||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-829-3158|
|A38||FREDERICKSBURG||9915 Patriot Highway, Fredericksburg, VA 22407||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-759-3919|
|A39||MANASSAS VA||9500 Center St, Manassas, VA 20110||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||855-210-0123|
|A41||CHESTERFIELD||600 Southlake Blvd, Suite 100, North Chesterfield, VA 23236||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-773-7231|
|B56||VIRGINIA BEACH||Ste 100, 2875 Sabre St, Virginia Beach, VA 23452||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-377-5237|
|290||STAUNTON VA||Grnbrier Off Pk Bldg 2, 1600 N Coalter St, Staunton, VA 24401||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-632-6896|
|295||WINCHESTER VA||323 Hope Dr, Winchester, VA 22601||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-331-2320|
|296||COVINGTON VA||1010 S Craig Ave, Covington, VA 24426||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-527-9334|
|298||WYTHEVILLE VA||130 Withers Lane, Wytheville, VA 24382||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-632-6893|
|299||WISE VA||253 Ridgeview Rd Sw, Wise, VA 24293||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-405-7843|
|300||RICHMOND EAST VA||245 E Williamsburg Rd, Sandston, VA 23150||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-218-2307|
|301||FARMVILLE VA||324 Commerce Rd, Farmville, VA 23901||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-269-4346|
|302||PORTSMOUTH VA||3305 Airline Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23701||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-593-8851|
|303||SUFFOLK VA||502 Hillpoint Blvd, Suffolk, VA 23434||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-835-7769|
|304||SOUTH BOSTON VA||2049 Hamilton Blvd, South Boston, VA 24592||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-327-1407|
|A40||MARTINSVILLE VA||320 W Commonwealth Blv, Martinsville, VA 24112||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-405-9780|
|A92||CULPEPER VA||1014 S Main St, Culpeper, VA 22701||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-531-4694|
|B68||ACCOMAC VA||Accawmacke Office Pk, 22581 Center Pkwy, Accomac, VA 23301||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-1019|
|C81||HAMPTON VA||Ground Fl, 1521 Hardy Cash Dr, Hampton, VA 23666||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-592-2669|
|C83||HARRISONBURG VA||351 North Mason St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-1718|