If you cannot work, you cannot earn a paycheck, and you may not have the benefits you need to cover your health care. Under these circumstances, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be a lifeline.
To determine whether you are eligible for SSDI, you should be able to answer the following questions.
How bad is your condition?
One primary component of being eligible for disability benefits is having a severe condition. Generally, a disabling condition is one that:
- Is terminal or expected to last more than one year
- Prohibits or severely limits a person’s ability to perform job functions
- It appears on the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments
One obstacle parties often encounter in determining the extent of their condition is assuming it is disabling without having the medical evidence to back that claim up.
As such, it will be necessary to retain documentation of doctor visits, test results and medical records. This information makes it easier to prove the severity of your condition.
What is your work history?
Another crucial component in being eligible for SSDI is your work history. Recipients must have worked recently and long enough to be covered by this insurance program.
Regarding recent work, the number of years depends on your age. Someone between 24-30 years old must have a history of work spanning half the number of years since turning 21. Someone 31 or older must have worked five of the last 10 years.
You will also need to have sufficient work credits. People can earn up to four credits per year, based on the taxes they have paid to Social Security. The amount depends on your age when you became disabled, but you must have at least 40 work credits to be eligible for SSDI.
If you do not have this type of history, SSDI benefits may not be available. However, you can speak with an attorney about other types of support for which you may be eligible.
Have you applied for benefits?
You do not qualify for disability benefits automatically; you must apply for them. Completing the application can be complicated, and the SSA denies most initial applications.
However, understanding the eligibility criteria and ensuring your application is as comprehensive and complete as possible can make receiving the benefits you deserve easier.