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What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Qualifying for Disability Benefits

When most people hear the term Social Security, they automatically think of retirement benefits for people over the age of 65. However, there are other types of Social Security Benefits available for those that need them such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program of the United States government. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is administered by the Social Security Administration and assists people with physical or mental disabilities that prevent them from working. Individuals with a disability and can meet mental or medical criteria for disability can qualify for benefits under this program. It is something that you must request when you know that you are too disabled to work full-time.

What Is SSDI

The Social Security Disability program is one of the two largest Federal programs available for people with disabilities. The other is the Supplemental Security Income program that provides assistance for people dependent upon their income. Workers that have become disabled and have accrued the requisite amount of working quarters or Social Security credits are eligible to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, as are certain members of their family affected by the loss of income by the disabled worker. This can be a great solution for disabled workers to financially support themselves and their family. The amount an applicant can receive is based on past earnings, but the average payment is $1,171 per month with a monthly maximum payment of $2,687.

How Can You Qualify for Disability Benefits?

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):

  • The applicant must have a medical or mental disability that will prevent them from working for 12 months up to the remainder of their natural life.
  • The applicant must not have a partial or short-term disability.
  • The applicant’s disability must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability.
  • The applicant must be younger than the full retirement age of 65.
  • The applicant must have the requisite amount of earning quarters. This is generally 20 Social Security credits in the last 10 years prior to the onset of disability (normally four credits per full or partial year); one additional credit is required for every year by which the worker’s age exceeds 42 years of age. However if the worker can demonstrate that they became disabled at the age of 22, they may be able to use their parents’ Social Security credits with no loss of benefits to the parents.

Applying For Disability Insurance

To apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, the applicant must first submit an application to the Social Security Administration. The application can be submitted in person at a local Social Security Administration office or online on the Social Security Administration website (www.ssa.gov). One advantage of applying online is the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool which will show the applicant the programs the applicant is eligible. Another advantage of applying online is the convenience of applying and monitoring the application from the comfort of home.

The Decision Process

The Social Security Administration will review the application as well as any medical documentation the applicant has to substantiate his or her claim. This documentation can include medical records from their physician or other documents to support the claim of disability. It is best to have these documents at hand at the time of application as to shorten the amount of time the decision process will take. The process for applying for Social Security Disability Benefits is not a short one and the average decision can take four to six weeks. However, the quicker the applicant provide the documentation that the Social Security Administration asks for the quicker the process can be.

How Do You Apply? 

You are applying through the SSA, but you must apply with documentation from a doctor or other professional. You must prove that you are too disabled to work, and you must prove that you are not in a state where you could hold down a full-time job. You can make these claims as much as you like, but the SSA wants to see the documentation. They ask you to upload or fax these documents so that they can check your case, and they will compare that against your income or assets. The SSA will deliver a decision, or you could ask for an appeal.

Appealing If Your Application is Denied

In the event that the application is denied, the disabled worker should not hesitate to appeal which can be done on the Social Security Administration website by submitting an Appeal Request and Appeal Disability Report. This report will ask for additional or updated information about the disability and any treatments, physician visits or tests performed since the Social Security Administration made their decision. If the application is denied for non-medical reasons, the applicant should contact their local Social Security office to request a review. This can also be done over the phone at the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number. While no worker wishes to become disabled, in the advent that they do, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available. As in the case of retirement benefits, this is a benefit the worker has already paid for through their payroll taxes so no disabled worker should hesitate to take advantage of this program.

Who Could Apply For Benefits?Image result for Social Security Disability Insurance Come From'

Anyone who wants to apply for benefits is welcome to, and they are allowed for any adult who cannot hold a job, is too disabled, or has a mental condition that would prevent them from working. There are people who are very anxious, and they cannot work because they are not able to be around people for that long. Someone with a physical disability might be in a place where they cannot work, and people who are caring for a family member might be in a similar position. Everyone who believes they have a case should apply because there are exceptions made every day.

When Are The Benefits Renewed?

The benefits are not renewed because they are lifelong. Someone does not get over disability, and they might want to contact the SSA if they are able to get a job that is right for them. They can work with a local SSA office on the limits that they should place on their work, and people who are getting physical therapy could change their status if they are well. The SSA will review each case on its own merits, and someone who is changing their status should ask for partial payment if they are not able to fully return to work or have a normal job.

How Do You Contact The SSA?

You can contact the SSA at any time over the phone, or you could send them an email. You might want to ask them if they have a remedy for your situation, and they could give you assistance in applying. You might want to ask the SSA if they believe you have a decent case, and you could have someone fill out the application over the phone. Someone who works in the office could sit down with you to help you with the application, and they will explain why the application is laid out how it is. These few bits of advice make it much simpler, and you could get your application submitted much faster.

Conclusion

You can submit your application for SSDI at any time, and you must be prepared to defend your case. You must have all the documentation that is required, and you will find that the SSA works with you in many cases so that you can get your case to go through.