The Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) Explained

Are you trying to find out if you qualify for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? You won’t know for certain until you actually submit your application. However, there is a quick and easy way to get a better idea of your eligibility status. It’s called the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST).

What is the BEST?

Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool feature

The BEST is a survey that was created by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It contains a series of questions designed to help you determine your eligibility. In addition to SSI and SSDI, it also screens for Social Security Survivors, Special Veterans, and other benefits programs.

The survey is completely anonymous. It doesn’t ask for your name or social security number. Not to mention, you can use it as a screening tool for yourself, family and/or friends. The only things you need are:

  • Internet access
  • About 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire
  • Information regarding personal income and assets
  • Information about the disability for which you are applying

You should be prepared to provide your date of birth, marital status, citizenship status, state of residence, and more. Once you are finished, your results will be calculated. Based on your answers, the test will determine if you are likely to qualify. If you are likely to qualify, it will list which benefits you may be eligible for. It will also include a brief summary of the benefits. Finally, it will provide resources to help you learn more about the next steps you should take.

How Can I Take the BEST?

If you’re interested in using the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool, click here to go to the Social Security Administration website. Then, select “Start Questionnaire” to begin the survey.

BEST is only a screening tool and you may still qualify for benefits even if BEST indicates you may be ineligible. For more information about eligibility or the application process, Disability Support Services can help. We’re a team of professional case managers, attorneys, and representatives. We help people all throughout the state of Maryland and beyond get the benefits they deserve. Contact us today or fill out our form to receive a free evaluation.

Should I Take the BEST?

Taking the BEST survey is not mandatory, but it can be helpful, especially because eligibility requirements can be confusing. The BEST can help you determine whether or not to apply for benefits and which benefits to apply for. And, it can help you sort out the details you’ll need if and when you do apply. Overall, applying for benefits can be a long and confusing process, so you should take advantage of all the resources you can.

What the BEST is NOT

The BEST is not an application for SSDI or SSI benefits. The application is a separate process. The BEST is simply a tool to help you understand your eligibility status. Additionally, it doesn’t provide any dollar amount estimates. Finally, for more in-depth information and guidance about your eligibility, speak with the team at Disability Support Services.