Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program in the United States offering financial support to those whose disabilities prevent them from working and earning incomes. This overview will explain in greater detail what SSDI is, how to determine if you may be eligible for SSDI, and what the application process involves.
What Is SSDI?
SSDI is available to someone who can’t earn a living because of their disability.
Disabilities can range in severity. Some are severe enough that they render an individual unable to work. To qualify for SSDI, typically, an individual must have a condition that is likely to last for at least one year or result in their eventual death. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) approves an application for SSDI, an applicant will usually receive monthly payments.
Eligibility Requirements For SSDI
Specific criteria one must meet to be eligible for SSDI include the following:
- Having a condition that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA)
- Again, having a condition that should least at least 12 months or result in one’s eventual passing
- Having earned enough work credits
A person’s earnings determine how many work credits they may have earned. A person can earn up to four work credits in a given year.
There is no set number of work credits everyone must earn to qualify for SSDI benefits. The amount of work credits you need will vary depending on when you became disabled and what your current age is. For instance, someone who became disabled in their 20s may need fewer work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits than someone who became disabled in their 50s.
Additionally, to demonstrate that you can’t engage in SGA, you must show you’re unable to earn certain minimum amounts of money every month. In 2023, the monthly SGA amount is $1470 for most people, and $2460 for statutorily blind people.
How To Apply For SSDI
It’s critical to submit a thorough application when seeking SSDI benefits. Documentation you should gather includes:
- Medical evidence of your disability
- Employment records
- Tax returns
Once you’ve gathered the necessary evidence, you can apply for benefits in the following ways:
- Over the phone
- At your nearest SSA office
Don’t worry if you don’t immediately hear back from the SSA. The process of reviewing an application can take months. However, you may want to remain in contact with the SSA to stay up-to-date on your application’s status.
Get Help With Your SSDI Claim
Applying for benefits doesn’t necessarily result in an immediate approval. Statistically, the SSA denies initial applications more often than not, although applicants who appeal these initial denials tend to have better odds of receiving approvals later.
This is one of many reasons it’s wise to enlist the help of an SSDI lawyer when seeking benefits. An attorney may help you gather the evidence needed to show you are eligible for SSDI. Get started today by taking the Free Case Evaluation to speak with an independent attorney who subscribes to the website representing clients in your area.