There are government-run programs for those who are unable to gain or keep gainful employment due to issues with their medical, mental or psychological health. One such program is Social Security Disability Insurance ( SSDI), which is funded through Social Security taxes.
Anyone who is considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) with a sufficient history of paying Social Security payroll taxes may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits.
To have your application for SSDI accepted by the SSA, you must be unable to earn more than $1,170 a month (for 2017) and your condition must make you unable to work for for at least 12 months. Beyond this, someone who is applying for SSDI must also have a sufficient history of work credits.
Generally, a person applying for benefits must have a total of 40 credits where 20 of those must be earned in the decade before a disability has started. The maximum amount of credits a person can earn in a year is four, one every three months. The minimum amount to earn for a work credit is $1,260.
For SSDI, this means that people with a record of paying into Social Security payroll taxes and who have worked for at least five of the last ten years meet the technical qualifications for eligibility, though there are exceptions for younger individuals, who may be able to qualify based on their parent’s work records.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
A majority of SSDI applications are denied after the first application and even if you appeal the SSA’s decision, over 80% of appeals at that stage are also denied.
Because it can be easy to misrepresent your case to the SSA, you may want to seek legal help to ensure that your case receives the consideration that it deserves.
If you seek out legal representation for your case, your attorney or advocate can help you understand what you might be able to do after being denied benefits. They can also help prepare the paperwork that you’ll need to submit to the SSA, so they can also help review what you have and suggest any additional documentation that may be a help to your case.
In addition, they can also help prepare witnesses and experts to help argue on your behalf.
It can be a daunting process, especially because it’s often complex and difficult to manage.
One of the best things you can do for your case is to make sure you have the legal representation necessary to give yourself the best chance of success.