Questions and Answers
By Erin Thompson, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
I applied for disability
benefits, but was denied. Iíd like to appeal. Can I do it
Yes. In fact, the best way
to file a Social Security appeal is online. Our online
appeal process is convenient and secure. Just go to
www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal to appeal the
decision. For people who donít have access to the Internet,
you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to
schedule an appointment to visit your local Social Security
office to file your appeal.
Itís hard for me to get around because of my disability. Can
I apply for disability benefits from home?
Yes. In fact, the best way
to apply for disability benefits is online. Our online
disability application is convenient and secure. You can
apply for benefits over the Internet at
www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability. If you do not
have access to the Internet, you can call us at
1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an
appointment to visit your local Social Security office to
apply. However you decide to apply, begin by looking at our
Disability Starter Kit at
www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability. It will help
you prepare for your application or interview.
I currently receive Social Security disability benefits. I
now have a second serious disability. Can my monthly benefit
amount be increased?
No. Your Social Security disability benefit amount is based
on the amount of your lifetime earnings before your
disability began and not the number of disabling conditions
or illnesses you may have. For more information, go to
Is there a time limit on
how long you can get Social Security disability benefits?
No. Your disability benefits will continue as long as your
medical condition has not improved, and you cannot work. We
will periodically review your case to determine if you
continue to be eligible. If you are still receiving
disability benefits when you reach your full retirement age,
your disability benefits will automatically be converted to
retirement benefits. The amount you receive will remain the
same. Learn more about disability benefits at
I am very happy that I was
just approved to receive disability benefits. How long will
it be before I get my first payment?
eligible for Social Security disability benefits, there is a
five-month waiting period before your benefits begin. Weíll
pay your first benefit for the sixth full month after the
date we find your disability began.
For example, if your disability began on June 15, 2015, your
first benefit would be paid for the month of December 2015,
the sixth full month of disability, and you would receive
your first benefit payment in January 2016. You can read
more about the disability benefits approval process at