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Social Security Disability FAQs
If you are planning to apply for SSDI, It is helpful to know a few things about the program before submitting your application.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an important resource for those who are disabled and no longer able to work. Except in certain clear cases, applying for SSDI can take time, and may require multiple appeals in order to gain benefits for which you are eligible. With that in mind, let’s take a look at six common questions we hear as we work on SSDI applications or to appeal a denial of benefits:
1. Can anyone apply for SSDI? Eligibility for SSDI is limited to those who have sufficient work credits to earn Social Security benefits. This means that you must prove you have spent enough time recently in the US workforce to pay into Social Security. SSDI is funded by your payroll deductions. The aim of the SSDI program is to provide compensation for American workers who become disabled and cannot work.
2. What are work credits? Work credits are the unit of measure used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine whether you are eligible for Social Security benefits. For adults 60 years of age or older, you will need to have worked for about ten years to earn the 40 credits needed to become eligible for SSDI benefits. About half of those need to be earned in the years preceding your disabling injury or condition. In 2018, each worker receives one credit for each $1,320 they earn. Workers can earn a maximum of four credits per year. The number of work credits required depends on your age at disability.
3. How much money can you receive from SSDI? Your disability payments are based on your average earnings over the years you were working.
4. What happens when I reach retirement age? When I am receiving SSDI, can I draw both SSDI and Social Security retirement benefits? When you reach the age of retirement, your disability benefits convert to Social Security retirement benefits. You cannot receive disability and Social Security retirement payments at the same time.
5. How soon will I get SSDI benefits if my application is approved? Disability benefits begin in the sixth full month following your disability. If you are receiving other benefits, like workers’ comp, or a private pension, the amount of Social Security benefits available to you will be reduced.
6. What do I need to prove about my disability? The Social Security Administration has a definition of disability against which it measures applications for SSDI. Here are important points of the definition:
SSDI is paid only for total disability. If you suffered partial disability and can no longer perform the job you were doing, but you can retrain for a different job, it is unlikely you will qualify for SSDI. Disability is paid only for total, permanent disability.
The disability is expected to last one year or will result in your death.
The definition used for disability by the Social Security Administration is strict. The agency looks to medical records and other information provided on your application to provide clear evidence of total disability that will last at least a year.
Because the approval, denial, and appeal process for SSDI can be lengthy, be sure to have an attorney experienced with SSDI look over your application prior to filing. You can save time and perhaps prevent you application from being denied by making sure your SSDI request is correct the first time you apply.
Knowledgeable Legal Advice on SSDI and Workers’ Comp in Adams County
If you live in Colorado and are applying for SSDI, Law Office of John A. Anderson, Jr., LLC can help you submit an accurate application the first time. If you are denied benefits for which you are eligible, we work with you throughout the appeals process to achieve the benefits you deserve.
Whether you live in Brighton, Commerce City, or Thornton, we offer trusted legal care you can count on. Contact us or call (303) 880-7994 today.