Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance

Am I eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

You have fallen ill or were in an accident and are now unable to work. You have a family to take care of and you need a source of income to put food on the table. Fortunately, the federal government provides benefits to those who are disabled in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). In this article, we will focus on SSDI.

SSDI is a monthly cash benefit provided by the federal government, administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), to those that are disabled under the SSA definition.  According to the SSA, a person is disabled if he or she cannot engage in substantial gainful activity due to a medical or physical impairment that is expected to last for 12 months or more, or to result in death. You will be considered disabled if you are unable to do the work that you previously did, even if adjustments are made.

Just being disabled, however, is not enough to qualify you for SSDI. SSDI is a program that must be paid into. Therefore, in order to be eligible, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a required number of annual quarters based on your age. If you are disabled and meet the other eligibility requirements, you may be granted SSDI.  If you have not met the work- related requirements for SSDI, you may be eligible for SSI instead.

These benefits are not granted automatically. You must apply for SSDI benefits and your application should be as complete as possible in order to reduce the chances that it will be denied. Applying for SSDI is a complicated process and requires that you present the SSA with a large volume of personal and medical information. It is in your best interest, therefore, to retain a qualified attorney to represent you during the application process.

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