The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is designed to provide compensation to insured workers who cannot work due to illness, injury, or disability. There are many criteria you must meet and several steps you must complete to be entitled to these benefits. These include filing the right paperwork, earning enough work credits, having a covered disability, and earning less than the monthly income limits set by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
As long as you meet all of these criteria, you may be eligible for benefits. However, sometimes SSDI applications are rejected, forcing applicants to go through an appeals process to attempt to secure benefits.
You do not need to apply for SSDI or face the appeals process alone. A Frisco Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to help you fight for benefits.
For a free consultation on your case with a representative of our firm, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377.
SSDI Eligibility Criteria
SSDI is funded by Social Security tax contributions made by various classes of insured workers on their work earnings. If you work in an eligible job and make Social Security tax payments on your salary, you may earn up to four credits per year towards the 40-credit requirement needed to be eligible for SSDI.
To clarify, the eligibility requirements of SSDI are as follows:
- You must have worked in an eligible job.
- You must have earned enough credits to be eligible for benefits.
- You suffered an injury, illness, or disability that prevents you from working.
- You must earn less than the monthly income limits set by the SSA
- You must be below your normal retirement age.
Not that there are exceptions to the 40-credit work history requirement for SSDI applicants below a certain age. Furthermore, a second Social Security benefits program known as Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) may be available to disabled individuals regardless of their work history.
Here is how health conditions, income limits, and age limits are defined for SSDI:
Injury, Illness, or Disability
Injuries, disabilities, and illnesses that last for 12 continuous months and prevent you from being gainfully employed or are expected to lead to death may be covered by SSDI.
The SSA publishes a list of eligible disabilities known as the “Blue Book.” Examples of potentially eligible disabilities include:
- Immune system disorders
- Various forms of cancer
- Debilitating mental or physical disorders
- Congenital defects
- Neurological illnesses
- Cardiovascular and/or respiratory illnesses,
- Sensory disorders, such as deafness or blindness.
When you apply for SSDI, the SSA will assess your illness, disability, or injury as well as your medical history to determine if your health condition meets their criteria for a disability. If it does, and if you meet all the other eligibility criteria, you can expect to receive your first benefits payout in about six months after suffering your injury, disability, or illness.
The SSA publishes an annual substantial gainful activity (SGA) table that provides the monthly income limits for SSDI recipients. For 2020, if an individual earns less than $1,260 per month—or $2,110 if he or she is blind–they may be eligible for SSDI. If an individual who is receiving SSDI benefits returns to work or earns more than their SGA limit, they may become ineligible for benefits.
The SSA defines your “normal retirement age” (NRA) based on when you were born. For everyone born in or after 1960, their NRA is 67. Some people may have an NRA as low as 65.
As long as you have not reached your NRA, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits.
To learn more about SSDI and for a free case evaluation, call Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Frisco, call (972) 535-6377
How to Apply for SSDI Benefits
If you meet all of the criteria outlined above, you can apply for SSDI on the SSA’s disability benefits page. You may be asked to provide details on your age, marital status, employment history, sources of income, and the nature of your injuries, illnesses, or disabilities. You should also have bank account details handy so that the SSA can remit payments to you if you are approved for benefits.
A Frisco Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office can also help you with your initial benefits application.
Frisco Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
If Your SSDI Application Is Rejected
Sometimes an SSDI application is rejected unfairly. This could be due to an application error, missing evidence, or a dispute about a diagnosis.
Whatever the reason, if your SSDI application was rejected, the SSA offers an appeals process. This process may allow you to have your SSDI application and new evidence examined by a different authority who can make a new decision on your eligibility. In general, there are four levels of authority for you to appeal your case to.
A Frisco Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office can walk you through the SSDI appeals process and handle all paperwork on your behalf when we represent you.
Contact Underwood Law Office Today
Whether you seek help with your initial application or with appealing a denial of benefits, a Frisco Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to help you.
For a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377. We can go over your case and our services during this call.
If you qualify, we may be able to provide you with representation on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required.