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What is SSDI? Do I Qualify?

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SSDI & Disability Questions

What is SSDI ?

SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. It is a program that is part of the US Government's Social Security System more commonly known for retirement benefits. The program is specifically designed and available to help disabled people who are unable to earn a living.

What Counts as a Disability under SSDI?

Social Security defines a disability as that which causes you to be unable to work at any job for which you are suited. It can be a physical or mental disability. The disability must last for a year, or be expected to last for a year or more. Here is a list of the officially recognized disability impairments as determined by the social security department, but if you have a severe condition not on the list, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may still determine that you qualify if you are unable to do the work you did previously.

Who is Eligible for SSDI?

You can be any age to receive SSDI payments. You must have worked and paid into Social Security, similar to claims for SSI at retirement, but the exact requirement depend on age and work history.  

How do I prove I am disabled and unable to work?

You will need to provide medical records and documentation to establish proof of your disability. How the records are prepared and how your condition is documented by your doctor is important. Poor documentation can lead to denial of SSDI benefits. I can help you work through the process to make sure your claim has the best chance to succeed.

I applied for SSDI but was denied. Do I have a chance to appeal?

Absolutely. Many people have their claims denied the first time they apply. The government paperwork is complicated, and many people need help to win their case. The steps in appealing the case involve a hearing by an administrative law judge, a review by the appeals counsel, and possibly review by a federal court. This is difficult for many people to accomplish without legal help. More on the Appeals process.

 

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