If you think you’d like to apply for disability benefits, you’ll first need to determine if you’d qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both.
Since applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a difficult process, a disability attorney or advocate may increase your chances of being awarded benefits by helping accurately and favorably complete the complex paperwork, ensuring that all deadlines are met, and providing you with representation at a hearing. After submitting our web form, you will receive a 100% FREE evaluation of your disability claim. Disability attorneys and advocates receive compensation if you are awarded back benefits. We have no affiliation with the Social Security Administration, the agency at which you can apply for Social Security disability at no cost.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federally run benefits program that provides aid to people who are unable to achieve gainful employment due to a permanent disabling condition.
SSDI is financed by the Social Security tax. Therefore, any person that qualifies as disabled according to the definition provided by Social Security Administration (SSA), and who has paid Social Security taxes long enough to achieve sufficient work credits, can qualify for SSDI.
Do You Qualify for SSDI?
In order to qualify for SSDI, you must suffer from a permanent condition that prevents you from working. In other words, your disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, a minimum of twelve months and you must be unable to earn an income greater than $1,130 per month (prior to 2016, this standard allowable level of Substantial Gainful Activity was only $1,090 per month).
In addition, an individual must have earned sufficient work credits in order to qualify for SSDI. The normal requirement is a total of 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the 10 years prior to the onset of disability. Usually, this means that a person must have a fairly consistent work history and have worked (and paid Social Security taxes) for a combined five of the ten years prior to becoming disabled.
These work requirements can be somewhat less for younger individuals, as parents’ work credits can be applied to applicants under the age of 22.
Should I Get Representation?
Millions of Americans apply for Social Security disability benefits every year. Due to the limited resources of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the extreme volume of applications processed, more than 60% of initial stage applications are currently denied. In the reconsideration stage of appeal, the number jumps to well over 80%.
Given those odds, having a qualified Social Security attorney or advocate help you to efficiently and correctly handle your application and the potential appeals process can be extremely beneficial.
Having representation will help you to know and understand your options in the case of a denial. In addition, an experienced lawyer or advocate can help to organize paperwork and medical records, prepare you or your witnesses for hearing, and will likely have a vast amount of previous experience dealing with SSA offices and judges in your area.
The SSDI application process can be overwhelming, particularly in the fairly common circumstance of a denial at the initial stage. Having the experience of a qualified Social Security representative can prove invaluable in getting you the benefits that you deserve.