How Do You File a Disability Claim?

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The US Social Security Administration administers two major disability compensation programs (among others) — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In general, the difference between the two is that SSDI requires you to accumulate work credits before you can use it, while SSI is strictly need-based.


Basic Eligibility Requirements

To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must meet the following qualifications:”

  • If you are applying for SSDI, you must have accumulated a minimum number of “work credits” for eligible employers who deducted social security taxes from your paycheck (or self-employment in which you paid self-employment tax). The minimum number of work credits required to render you eligible for SSDI increases with age, but it never rises above the amount of credits earned after 10 years of full-time work.
  • You must be under 65.
  • The work credit requirement is waived for SSI benefits, but benefit amounts are lower and strict maximum income thresholds are enforced.
  • You must suffer from a recognized medical impairment that is expected to prevent you from working for at least a year, or result in death. Unlike the case with workers’ compensation benefits, your impairment does not have to be work-related. The amount of benefits available is calibrated to the degree of your impairment and, in the case of SSDI, the amount you were making before you became disabled.

Benefits typically continue until you can work again, although certain incentive programs may allow you to work to some extent while receiving disability benefits.

Application Process

There are three ways to apply for disability benefits in Kentucky:

  • Apply online at;
  • Apply by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or
  • Apply in-person at your local Social Security office. There are 26 local social security offices located throughout Kentucky, including:.
    Pikeville Office: 333 Hambley Blvd, (606) 432-2177
    Lexington Office: 2260 Executive Dr, (859) 294-5633
    Louisville Offices: 10503 Timberwood Cir, (888) 280-5851; and 601 W Broadway, I-866-716-9671


Should your claim be denied, you can appeal the denial and obtain a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. In Kentucky, it takes an average of about 15 months from the date you submit your appeal to the date of your hearing. The success rate for appellants is about 42 percent. Obviously, although no guarantees can be made, your chances are better if you are represented by a Kentucky disability lawyer.

Take Decisive Action Today

We are often asked many questions related to filing claims. Just the other day, we had to refer a case as someone asked us how to file a mechanics lien in Texas. While we are very confident in our abilities to assist you in personal injury law, understand that we are in the state of Kentucky and we are specifically personal injury lawyers.

Numerous potential pitfalls await those who attempt to handle their disability claim on their own. Falling into one of these traps could result in the denial of your claim or an award that is not enough to meet your needs. Contact Kentucky disability lawyer Glenn Martin Hammond for a consultation, by calling (606) 437-7777 or by filling out our online contact form. We serve clients throughout the entire state of Kentucky.

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