Man trying to fill out paperwork

Do not get us wrong, Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a good program and a necessary one. It helps millions of people make ends meet when they can’t work. However, it does have some large disadvantages to individuals, mostly that there isn’t a safety net in place for the time between being unable to work due to a disability and actually receiving your benefits. Let Tabak Law dive into what makes using Social Security Disability Insurance Hard.

3 Reasons Why Getting SSDI Benefits is Difficult

1. Hard Application Process

The federal government is not known for making things easy, and perhaps in some instances that is preferable, but when it comes to SSDI, the process for getting benefits can be a difficult one. Of all the claims that are made to SSDI, only about one-third ever get approved, and most of them do not see their claim through every stage of the appeals process. After they are met with their first denial letter, they give up. People know how hard it can be to get insurance to cover things at times. Well, SSDI can be even more difficult and particular.


The solution that will make the application process easier can come down to seeking the legal help that you may need. On top of that, you will want to seek the help of your doctors and any medical professionals that you have worked with. The legal help will be especially beneficial when you hit your first denial letter and have to begin the next stages of the appeals process.

Read More: 10 Most Common Qualifying SSDI Conditions 

2. The Long Wait

hourglass in rock

Unfortunately, even getting to that first denial letter can take a long time. It will typically be many months before you hear anything, and if you get denied and decide to continue with the appeals process, you will be met with similar timelines every step of the way. This situation was made even worse during the COVID pandemic, and the backlogs have remained long ever since.


Again, getting legal help early can ensure that your claim gets approved earlier. If money is an issue, know that most SSDI lawyers are paid out of a percentage of your back pay. This means you don’t pay a dime if you lose and no part of your ongoing monthly benefits are touched or garnished in any way. During this time though, you will want to seek other programs perhaps at the state level to help you make ends meet. A part-time job can be an attractive option but could also impact your likelihood of getting approved for benefits.

Read More: Does SSDI Vary From State to State?

3. They Pay May be Less Than Private Options

When you became unable to work due to a disability, hopefully, you had private disability insurance through your work or some other program. These private options are a valuable and often vital means of securing your financial stability while you await your SSDI claim’s approval. Unfortunately, these private options, depending on several factors, can pay more than what your SSDI benefits will eventually pay.


Though this is true, most of your private options run out eventually whereas SSDI taps into currently incoming Social Security funds and though your pay-in affects your payout, it is not like a 401K. You are not drawing on a sum that will eventually go to zero. If SSDI isn’t enough, then you can consider other federal programs like SSI or check into the availability of state-run programs. Once you have SSDI benefits, you can also seek employment so long as you stay under your substantial gainful activity amount.

Read More: Which Pays More SSDI or SSI?

Get Legal Help Getting SSDI Benefits

Though we talked a lot about the disadvantages, there are plenty of advantages as well. It’s money that will help you when you have a disability, it can provide vocational rehabilitation and be a safety net to help you seek employment again, and it provides Medicare coverage as well. For these reasons and more, if you think you should qualify for SSDI, then there is almost no reason not to apply. Just know what you are getting into and get the legal help that you need when you need it. Tabak Law can also help with a free case review.

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.

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