Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of two important disability programs managed and operated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The other is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is funded by Social Security taxes and is designed to support disabled individuals who have paid into the program through their work history. SSI is designed to help elderly and/or disabled individuals with little or no income and has no work history requirements.
To be eligible for SSDI, you must have first worked in an occupation that entitles you to SSDI, and you must have earned enough credits to be eligible. You must also meet the income and disability criteria required for eligibility before you can receive benefits. Changes in your income, age, or health can lead to reductions in–or an outright termination of–your SSDI benefits.
Underwood Law Office helps people with all stages of the SSDI and SSI process, from initial application to fighting a denial of benefits. A Plano Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm can walk you through everything you need to know about the process when we represent you.
For a free case review with a member of our team, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377.
SSDI Benefits and Eligibility
You may be eligible for SSDI if you meet certain income, disability, and age requirements.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must earn less than $1,260 per month (or $2,110 if you are blind) to qualify for SSDI benefits in 2020. If you earn more than this, you may be defined as being able to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and may be ineligible for SSDI.
According to the SSA, certain types of impairment that may qualify you for SSDI include:
- Various cancers and immune system disorders
- Mental disorders
- Certain congenital disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Skin or respiratory disorders
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Sensory disorders such as blindness
- And more
In general, your disability must be such that it has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months or lead to death.
Age and Work Requirements
You must be below your full retirement age and have worked in a job covered by Social Security to be eligible for SSDI. In most cases, you can earn four credits per year worked, and you need 40 credits to receive SSDI benefits. There are exceptions to this general credit minimum for certain younger workers.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Plano, call (972) 535-6377
Losing SSDI Benefits
You can lose your SSDI benefits if:
- Your medical condition improves such that you no longer meet the SSA’s definition of being disabled, or
- You reach your retirement age, or
- You rejoin the workforce and earn more than the minimum SGA for your household size, or
- You are incarcerated for 30 days or more.
If you lost your SSDI benefits or are afraid you might lose them, please contact Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377. A representative of our firm can discuss your case and your options in a free, no-obligation consultation.
Plano Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
Applying for Benefits
If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above, you can file for benefits on the Social Security Administration’s online application page. The application process may require:
- Medical proof of the disability you suffer
- Proof of your income
- Details regarding other benefits you may be receiving
- Your employment history
- Military service documentation, if any
- Bank account and routing information for the receipt of funds if you are approved
You can apply online, via mail, or in person at your local Social Security Administration office.
To be eligible for SSDI, an SSA field office or a Disability Determination Services (DDS) center may assess your case. The SSA will verify whatever nonmedical data you provide from the list above. The SSA will also review medical evidence of your disability. The SSA may reach out to your personal or family doctor if it needs more information to decide your case.
When your case is being determined, the Social Security field office and the DDS will review your work history, whether your medical condition meets the definition of a covered disability, and your income to determine your case. If you are found to be eligible, you can expect to receive your first SSDI payment by month six of your disability.
If Your SSDI Application Was Denied
If you receive a denial of SSDI benefits, you may be able to appeal this decision. There are several stages to the appeals process that you may be able to utilize, including:
- A reconsideration of your application by a different Social Security agent with any new evidence added
- A hearing with an administrative law judge who can review the reconsideration and make a new decision
- A review of the administrative law judge’s decision by the Social Security Appeals Council
- A review of the Appeals Council’s decision by a federal district court
You do not need to face a denial of SSDI benefits alone. A Plano Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to represent you at all stages of the appeals process.
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Contact Underwood Law Office Today
Underwood Law Office can help with a variety of SSDI application needs, including initial application and denied benefits. We also assist clients with needs regarding SSI benefits.
To learn more about our services and your options in a free case review with a member of our team, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377.
If you qualify, a Plano Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payments required.