You Cannot Work Because of a Disability, But Are You Eligible For SSDI Benefits?
Millions of Americans receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but if you find yourself unable to work because of a physical or mental disability, how do you determine if you are eligible for SSDI benefits?
First, to even be considered for Social Security disability benefits as an adult, you must be at least 18 years old and permanently residing in an American state or territory.
You must then tally up your work credits. How many do you need? It depends on your age when you became disabled, but generally 40 work credits are needed to qualify (younger workers may qualify with less credits). Twenty of those credits must have been earned in the last 10 years. (In 2013, a worker earned one credit for every $1,160 earned in wages or self-employment income. You can accrue up to four credits a year).
Then you must learn what the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines as disabled.
The basic questions you must be prepared to answer are: Are you currently working? Is your condition “severe?” Is your condition found in the SSA’s list of disabling conditions? Can you do the work you did previously? Can you do any other type of work?
The SSA looks at all of these factors to determine eligibility. If you are currently working and earn $1,040 a month, for instance, then you will not be eligible for SSDI benefits.
What many people may not realize is that once you actually qualify for benefits, you will probably have to wait up to five calendar months before you receive any payments — and a majority of people who do apply for SSDI benefits are initially denied.
That is why it is important to apply for benefits as soon as possible if you believe your disability qualifies you for benefits. Due to the backlog of cases currently in the system, applicants can wait months or even years for an SSA settlement.
It can be a daunting procedure. That’s why the Social Security disability benefits attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville are prepared to help you and your family. We can file your initial application, help you find medical experts to diagnose your condition, and we are prepared to fight for your rights if your claim is denied.
Do you have questions about SSDI benefits and whether you qualify? Contact Farah & Farah online or call us at (800) 533-3555 today.