If you suffer from a disability, you might be wondering what your options are. Luckily, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will often alleviate some of the stress caused by your disability.
Whether you’ve had a lifelong disability or a temporary one, you may be eligible for SSA benefits. Conditions covered range from chronic disabilities to shorter-term ones, like those caused by a car accident or personal injury. There are several requirements the SSA lays out that you must meet before qualifying for SSDI benefits.
These include medical requirements, meaning you must possess a particular condition. You also must meet a certain number of work credits before qualifying. Read on to find out if you might qualify for disability benefits, and how you should go about seeking them.
Medical Requirments for SSA Benefits
The medical conditions that qualify for SSDI benefits are:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Vision impairment and hearing loss
- Respiratory conditions
- Cardiovascular conditions such as chronic heart failure
- Liver or kidney disease
- Neurological disorders
- Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia or hemophilia)
However, it is not enough simply to be afflicted by one of these ailments. You must also prove that the disability affects your ability to work so severely that you are unable to work in any setting. The disability must also be long-lasting (over one year) and must prevent you from performing any type of work.
For example, let’s say you’re a construction worker that undergoes a disabling condition that prevents you from performing heavy labor. Although you might consider yourself disabled, the SSA might not see it that way. They may argue that you could obtain another, less physically demanding position, such as a cashier.
Unfortunately, your disability alone isn’t quite enough to qualify for SSDI benefits. You must also have obtained the minimum number of work credits to qualify.
So what is a work credit? For each year, the SSA sets a minimum dollar amount you must earn to obtain a work credit. In 2021, this amount was $1,470.
Each year, you can earn up to 4 work credits. So, in 2021, you’ll earn one work credit for each $1,470 you earn, up to $5,880. To determine whether you meet the minimum requirements for work credits, consult this chart.
After You Qualify for Benefits: Next Steps
After you’ve demonstrated eligibility, there’s a five-month waiting period from the onset of the disability. The SSA will pay compensation after that waiting period is over.
How is the payout amount determined? It depends on your income record. To determine exactly how much you might get, it’s wise to contact a disability lawyer like those at Sweetlaw.com.
Hiring Disability Attorneys
So why are disability attorneys helpful in seeking SSA benefits? The process of filing a claim is quite difficult, and your application may be denied if even one small section is out of place.
That’s where a disability attorney can help. They’ll help you appeal denials, ensure proper completion of all paperwork, and act as your advocate in negotiations. Check out our other articles about health care to learn more about navigating your disability.