Are you or someone you know facing a disability that has prevented you from working? If so, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, to qualify for these benefits, you must meet certain requirements set forth by the program. In this post, we’ll go over the essential criteria that you must meet to qualify for SSDI benefits.
You must have a qualifying disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a qualifying disability as a medical condition that has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death. Your condition must also prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA). In other words, you must be unable to earn more than a specific income limit per month, which changes every year. For 2023, the SGA limit for non-blind individuals is $1,350 per month, and for blind individuals, it’s $2,290 per month.
You must have enough work credits
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years. The number of work credits you need depends on your age when you became disabled. In general, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
You must meet the SSA’s definition of disability
To determine if you have a qualifying disability, the SSA evaluates your medical condition and how it affects your ability to perform work-related activities. The SSA uses a five-step sequential evaluation process to make this determination. This process considers your ability to perform your past work, your ability to perform other types of work, your age, education, and work experience.
You must file a claim
To apply for SSDI benefits, you must file a claim with the SSA. You can do this online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your work history, medical conditions, and treatments you have received.
You must be patient
The SSDI application process can be lengthy and complicated. It can take several months, or even years, to receive a decision on your claim. Be patient and persistent. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.
In conclusion, qualifying for SSDI benefits requires meeting specific requirements set forth by the program. You must have a qualifying disability, enough work credits, and meet the SSA’s definition of disability. You must also file a claim and be patient throughout the process. If you’re unsure whether you meet the eligibility requirements or need help with the application process, consider reaching out to an experienced Social Security disability attorney.