Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides certain benefits to disabled, working-age adults who meet the eligibility requirements of the program. The program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSDI benefits are designed to help these individuals earn an income, provided they first meet specific work history criteria and maintain their eligibility status.
As such, SSDI is markedly different from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is also managed by the SSA, but it does not have the same work history requirements as SSDI. SSI has its own set of eligibility criteria, and you can qualify for benefits or lose coverage based on how your circumstances change over time.
An Allen Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to help you file for SSDI benefits or appeal a denial of benefits. For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377.
Understanding the SSDI Benefits Program
Here is an overview of the SSDI benefits program and its eligibility criteria
When Benefits Stop
Your SSDI benefits stop when you reach your normal retirement age, as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA). For example, if you were born in or after 1960, your retirement age is 67. When you hit the age of 67, your SSDI benefits may stop, but you may be able to continue receiving benefits through Social Security Retirement benefits.
The four key criteria used to determine SSDI eligibility are income, disability, age, and work history.
We discussed age above. As long as you have not reached your normal retirement age, you meet the age requirement for SSDI.
For income, as long as you earn less than $1,260 per month (or $2,110 for blind individuals), you may be eligible for benefits. Anything above these limits may be defined as substantial gainful activity (SGA) by the SSA. Note that these figures reflect the 2020 SGA amounts and that SGA amounts increase each year.
You must also have a disability that meets the SSA’s disability criteria to qualify for SSDI. Disabilities are typically defined as mental or physical impairments that are expected to result in the death of the individual or lasted or are expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months.
Qualifying disabilities may include certain forms of cancer, sensory disorders such as blindness, respiratory illnesses, musculoskeletal illnesses, and more. A comprehensive list of eligible illnesses can be found on the SSA’s website.
For work history requirements, you typically must have worked in an SSDI-eligible job, usually for at least 10 years. Workers earn up to four credits per year of work, and in most cases, you need 40 credits to be eligible for SSDI. There are some exceptions for younger workers.
Losing SSDI Benefits
You can lose your SSDI benefits if your condition changes such that you do not meet the age, income, or disability requirements for eligibility. If you reach your normal retirement age, re-enter the workforce, earn enough to meet SGA minimums for households of your size, or recover from your disability, you may lose your benefits.
You can also lose your benefits if you are jailed for 30 or more days. After your incarceration, however, you may be able to resume collecting benefits.
If your SSDI benefits application is rejected, or if your benefits get cut off because the SSA determines that you are no longer eligible, an Allen Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to help you file an appeal.
To learn more about our services in a free case review, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377. We also assist clients with their initial SSDI applications.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Allen, call (972) 535-6377
Apply for SSDI Benefits
You can apply for SSDI benefits on the SSA’s website. If you prefer, you can also apply by mail or in-person at a nearby Social Security field office.
You may want to have the following information available for your application:
- Proof of all forms of income
- Proof and details of other benefits you receive, if any
- Medical proof of the disability you suffer
- Your job history
- Military discharge documentation, if applicable
The SSA will assess your application for benefits and evaluate your condition. This may include reviewing medical evidence of your disability based on your medical records and the SSA’s current definitions of disability.
After your assessment, you may be approved for benefits or denied. If you are approved for benefits, you can expect your first benefits payment by the sixth month of having become disabled. If you are denied benefits, you can file an appeal.
Allen Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
Appealing a Denial of SSDI Benefits
If the SSA denies your benefits application, you may be able to submit a request for an appeal. There is a four-stage appeals process, where at each stage, a new authority can review the prior decision and make a new determination. You may be able to add new evidence during the appeals process as well.
The stages of the appeals process may include:
- A reconsideration
- A hearing with an administrative law judge
- A review by the Social Security Appeals Council
- A lawsuit in a federal district court
Underwood Law Office can help you with this appeals process when we represent you. We also may be able to help you if you were receiving SSDI benefits and they were wrongfully terminated.
Contact Underwood Law Office Today
An Allen Social Security Disability lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to help you present evidence in support of your application and can help you fill in and file all relevant paperwork for SSDI benefits. We can also represent you during the appeals process and fight for benefits on your behalf.
Underwood Law Office can be reached at (972) 535-6377. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case with a member of our team. If you qualify, we may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis.