Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to people who are unable to work due to disability. In this article, we’ll explain how to apply for Social Security Disability in Oregon.
To qualify for SSDI, you must demonstrate that you have a total physical or mental disability that prevents you from working and will likely last at least a year or result in death. Partial or short-term disabilities are not eligible.
You must also demonstrate sufficient work history in jobs covered by Social Security.
If your SSDI application is approved, there is usually a five-month waiting period after your disability began before you’ll receive your first check. The amount you receive is based on the number of years you’ve worked and your average earnings. The payment may be affected by other factors, such as the number of children or dependents that you have.
If you are on SSDI when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will automatically convert to Social Security retirement benefits.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability in Oregon
SSDI is a federal program, so the application process will be largely the same whether you’re applying as a resident of Oregon or any other state. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
Step 1: Gather up important information and documentation
It’s important to gather up information, documents, and records related to your disability before you apply. You’ll want to be very thorough if you want the best chance of being approved. The following is the type of information you’ll need to have ready:
- Personal information: Your date and place of birth, Social Security number, date of birth of your current spouse (as well former spouses, if applicable), dates and places of marriage, dates of divorce or death (if applicable), names and dates of birth of children under 18, and your bank account number and routing number.
- Medical information: The name, address, and phone number of somebody who knows your medical condition and can help with your application. You’ll also need to provide detailed information about illnesses, conditions, and injuries, including names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics, names of medicines you’re taking, including how much and who prescribed them, and names of medical tests you’ve had done and who ordered them.
- Work information: How much you made in the last two years, the name and addresses of employers over the last two years, the start and end dates of any active military service before 1968, and a list of up to five jobs (and dates worked) you’ve had in the five years before you became unable to work. You’ll also need information about any worker’s compensation, black lung, or similar benefits you’ve filed for or intend to file for.
- Potential additional information: You may also need to provide additional information such as your birth certificate, proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residence, U.S. military discharge papers (if you served before 1968), W2 forms, self-employment tax returns, award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, and any other proof of temporary or permanent worker’s compensation benefits.
Step 2: Submit your application
There are a three ways you can submit your application:
- Online at the Social Security website.
- Over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 (or 1-800-325-0778 for the deaf and hard of hearing).
- In person. You can search for a Social Security office near you by clicking here. It’s recommended that you call ahead to schedule an appointment.
Step 3: Wait for the decision
Once you’ve submitted your application, the Social Security Administration will review your case and make a decision. Expect the review process to take several months.
If Your Application is Denied
If you apply for Social Security Disability in Oregon (or any other state) and are denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You’ll have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to file an appeal. You may consider seeking help from a legal expert before attempting to file your appeal.
Your appeal hearing will be before an administrative law judge. The judge will review your case and make a decision on your eligibility.
Consult With a Professional
Again, the SSDI application process can be complex, time-consuming, paperwork-intensive, and lengthy. It’s common for initial applications to be denied. We highly recommend consulting with a legal professional before beginning the application process. You can get a free consultation here.