About SSDI

Since 1956, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has been an effective social insurance program that helps individuals whose physical or mental disabilities are so severe that they cannot do substantial work. The inability to work, along with disability-related expenses, can make meeting basic financial needs nearly impossible.

Benefits Overview

The following information provides a snap shot of Social Security disability benefits. Individuals may receive benefits under either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).     

Benefits Eligibility

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must be found "disabled" under Social Security's definition. By law, Social Security has a very strict definition of who is considered disabled.  

If your impairment(s) does not meet or equal a listing, the GRID rules come into play. These rules apply to individuals that have a severe medically determinable physical or mental impairment, are not working at SGA level and the impairment prevents them from performing any of their past relevant work.

Application Process

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a difficult process. While you can apply on your own, many individuals choose to get help from a Social Security disability attorney as they go through the application process.


If you’ve been denied as part of the application process, you may need to request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

Click here for a listing of hearings completion data by name of individual administrative law judges (ALJ) for all ALJs in the Office of Hearings Operations. The data includes hearing office name, total dispositions, decisions, allowances, denials and fully favorable or partially favorable decisions.

Processing Times

This tool allows users to estimate the amount of time they may have to wait for a hearing to be held. The data is a presentation of the average time (in months) from the hearing request date until a hearing was held for cases closed in the Office of Hearings Operations' hearing offices or national hearing centers.