It is hard to be certain whether you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits until you file a disability claim.
However, there is an easy way to pre-screen your eligibility status. The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) is a free online survey offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It is also a screening tool for Medicare, Social Security Retirement, Veterans' benefits and other benefit programs.
Dayes Law Firm is well versed in the SSA’s eligibility requirements and has helped many claimants over the years obtain the disability benefits they need. Schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help at no cost or obligation to you. There are no upfront fees involved.
Call 1-800-503-2000 to talk to a lawyer.
Using the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST)
The BEST contains a series of questions designed to determine your eligibility for SSDI and SSI. The questions are pretty simple and straightforward. Each question contains a help section. If you do not understand a particular question being asked, this help section can provide clarification.
The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. It is not mandatory to take the BEST, but it can be helpful since the SSA’s eligibility requirements can be confusing to understand. The BEST can be taken by anyone and on behalf of someone else. The SSA does not keep a record of the information provided.
Depending on the program, you will be given details on how to qualify and apply for these benefits. At the end of the survey, your eligibility for disability will be assessed. However, it is important to note that the BEST is only a screening tool. You may still qualify for benefits even if you are deemed ineligible. The BEST is also not an application for SSDI or SSI. Filing a disability claim is a completely separate process.
An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer in Phoenix can review your situation and provide more information and advice regarding your eligibility for benefits during a risk-free consultation.
General Information Required to Complete the Survey
The BEST survey is 100 percent anonymous. You will not have to provide your name, Social Security number or any other identifying details. General information you will need to provide includes:
- Date of birth
- Citizenship status
- State of residence
- Marital status
- Annual income from work
- Date your disability began
- Income from other sources
- Total value of all your assets
If you are looking to qualify for SSI, the BEST will ask personal financial questions (i.e. information about your earnings) to determine whether or not you exceed the income limits for the program.
If you are looking to qualify for SSDI, you will be asked whether you have ever worked and paid Social Security taxes (This program requires work credits based on your total yearly wages.)
How to Get an Accurate Assessment of Your Eligibility
It is important that you answer each question honestly and to the best of your ability. If you provide incomplete or faulty information, the assessment will not be accurate. Your answers are not recorded so they cannot be used against you by the SSA. All of your input gets deleted once you exit the survey.
The BEST is intended to identify all of the benefit programs you may qualify for. If you are already getting disability benefits, you will not be screened for these benefits. If you are ineligible for SSDI or SSI, the screening tool will tell you what other benefits you may be able to receive.
Get Answers to Your Social Security Disability Questions
If you are unsure about your eligibility or need help applying for disability benefits, our lawyers are here to help. We are prepared to guide you through the entire process at no upfront cost to you. We know how hard it can be to qualify for disability – most claimants are denied benefits the first time they apply.
Having a legal representation can increase your chances of being approved. Contact us today to get started. Our initial consultations are complimentary and confidential. There is no risk in reaching out to our firm to discuss your available options and no obligation to hire our firm.
Have Questions? Call: 1-800-503-2000