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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal government insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It provides financial assistance to workers who have become disabled and are unable to work for at least one year or have a condition that could result in death. The program is funded through Social Security taxes and is available to workers who have paid into the system for a certain period of time. SSDI ensures people with disabilities can cover their basic living expenses and maintain their quality of life. Millions of workers have benefited from SSDI since it was established. The SSDI payment amount is based on your work history before your disability began. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and everything about Social Security Disability Insurance.

Who is Eligible for SSDI?

To be eligible for SSDI, you must meet certain criteria set by the SSA:

  • You must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security
  • You must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of disability
  • You must be unable to do substantial work due to your disability
  • Your disability must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death

Additionally, you must have worked enough to pay into Social Security taxes. The required amount of time worked depends on your age at the time you became disabled.

» MORE: Can I return to work while getting Social Security disability benefits?

Who can get Disability?

You may be eligible for Disability if you have:

  1. A disability or blindness:

You must have a disability that affects your ability to work for a year or more, or will result in death.If you continue to work, your condition must also limit you from earning income above an amount we call “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). In 2024, SGA is $1,550 per month, or $2,590 if you’re considered blind under our rules. We use different rules to determine SGA if you’re self-employed.

  1. Enough work history:

Generally, you must have worked for at least 5 of the last 10 years to qualify for Disability. People under the age of 24 may not need to have worked as long. Sign in and look under “More Benefits” to see if you’ve worked long enough to qualify.

Unable to Work? Click to Call & See If You Qualify for SSDI Benefits.

When To Apply for SSDI?

You should apply as soon as you become disabled.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have a five month waiting period, which means that benefit payments will not begin before the sixth full month of disability. The SSDI waiting period begins the first full month after the date we decide your disability began.
  • There is no waiting period if your disability results from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and you are approved for SSDI benefits on or after July 23, 2020.
  • We pay Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits for the first full month after the date you filed your claim, or, if later, the date you become eligible for SSI.

How to Apply for SSDI

You can apply for SSDI online, by phone, or in person at your local SSA office. The application process may require detailed information about your work history, medical condition, and other personal information. It is important to have all necessary documents and information prepared before applying to ensure a smooth process. If you are unable to complete the application process on your own, you can also have someone assist you or hire a representative.

Check Your Eligibility For SSDI

Call & Speak to a Licensed Agent to see if You are Eligible for SSDI benefits.

Social Security Disability Evaluation Process

After submitting your application, the SSA will review your case to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria. This process includes:

  • Are you currently working? If you are working, you are not blind, and your earnings average more than $1,550 in 2024, then you will not be considered disabled.1 If you are not working, or if your income falls below Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limits.
  • Is your condition severe? If Social Security determines that your condition does not interfere with basic work-related activities for at least twelve months, then you will not be considered disabled. If your condition has or will interfere with basic work-related activities for at least twelve months,  then you will not be considered disabled.
  • Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? Social Security maintains a list of disabling medical conditions that automatically qualify you as disabled.10 If your condition is not one of these, then Social Security will determine if it is severe enough to qualify. If it is deemed severe enough, you will be considered disabled and your application will be approved.
  • Can you do the work you did before? If your condition does not interfere with your ability to do the work that you used to do, then you will not be considered disabled.
  • Can you do any other type of work? Finally, if you can’t do the work that you did previously, then Social Security will determine whether you can do some other type of work. If Social Security determines that you can adjust to other suitable work (taking into account your medical condition, age, education, previous work experience, and other factors), then you will not be considered disabled and your claim will be denied.

What To Do if You are Denied Benefits

If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision and provide additional evidence or information to support your case. It is important to fully understand the eligibility criteria and provide all necessary documentation when applying for SSDI. Seeking the assistance of a representative or attorney who specializes in SSDI cases can increase your chances of approval.

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