SSDI Eligibility Process

Massachusetts Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Attorneys

The Massachusetts disability lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are dedicated representatives for injured workers entitled to SSDI. For over 25 years, our Boston office has fought for injured workers in counties including, but not limited to, Essex, Middlesex, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Norfolk, as well as in the Merrimack River Valley area. Aside from our work within the state of Massachusetts, our attorneys also defend the rights of SSDI claimants across Rhode Island and New Hampshire. We are tenacious advocates, and will put forth the strongest possible case on your behalf so that you can begin receiving the benefits you need.

Disability Eligibility Overview

SSDI benefits provide financial assistance to disabled individuals through the state. These payments are authorized under Massachusetts General Law (MGL) c.118A and the federal Social Security Act. MGL c.30A implements the SSDI program in accordance with the relevant General Laws of the Commonwealth. In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, an individual must be “disabled” as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 20 CFR Part 416.

Eligibility Evaluation

Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices and state agencies, known as Disability Determination Services (DDS), process SSDI claims. The SSDI eligibility process begins with a standard application accepted in person, by telephone, through mail, or online. SSA first determines whether applicants meet financial eligibility standards before sending the application to DDS. DDS then decides whether the alleged medical impairment qualifies as a compensable disability under the law. Important steps in the SSDI eligibility process often include:

  • SSA evaluation of application and related forms
    • Verification of non-medical eligibility requirements
    • Age, employment, marital status, Social Security coverage
    • Must have worked at least 5 of last 10 years before disability
  • DDS reviews medical documentation of disability from physicians
    • Unable to work for at least 12 months due to disability
    • If medical evidence insufficient, DDS arranges consultative exam
  • After fully developing medical evidence, DDS makes initial decision
    • Average 6-month waiting period before application approved
  • DDS returns case to SSA field office for further action

If DDS determines that the claimant is disabled, SSA obtains any necessary non-disability evidence, calculates the benefit amount, and begins retroactive payment. If the claimant is found to be not disabled, SSA retains the file in case the claimant decides to appeal. The appellate process has three stages in which DDS or an administrative law judge grants review. Most applicants succeed in the third stage where a judge in SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review determines eligibility and orders payment by the employer’s insurers.

Proving Eligibility for SSDI

If you require assistance proving eligibility for SSDI benefits, the Massachusetts social security disability attorneys of Kantrovitz & Associates can help. We have over 25 years of experience preparing SSDI applicants for interviews with DDS examiners and hearings before administrative law judges. Our knowledge of the evaluation process is critical in providing the correct documentation to prove eligibility on the initial claim. Even if you have been denied benefits the first time around, we have successfully recovered compensation on appeal before the SSA’s Hearing office. Let us help you recover the SSDI benefits you deserve. Call (800) 367-0871 for a free consultation or contact us online.