Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, provides financial benefits to individuals who meet the federal government’s strict criteria for a permanent disability that prevents them from working. Often our clients have suffered severe injuries causing permanent disabilities that prevent them from returning to work. SSDI benefits are for individuals who have been paying into the Social Security system.
Other types of Social Security disability benefits are available to children, the blind, and those who are disabled, lack financial resources, and have not paid into Social Security.
You apply for SSDI benefits by submitting an application to your local Social Security Administration office. If you meet eligibility requirements, your claim is then sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS), which will collect information from your doctors and other health care providers about your condition. You may be required to undergo an additional medical exam. Submitting medical records that support your claim is essential.
To qualify for SSDI, you must meet several criteria, including:
- Being unemployed at the time of filing
- Meeting the definition of “severe impairment” as defined by the Social Security Administration
- Having an impairment of at least 12 months’ duration (or that you expect will have you off work for at least 12 months) or having an impairment which is a terminal condition
- Inability to work at your former job
- Inability to perform any other available work
Many claims are initially rejected, and applicants often get frustrated and disappointed. What most applicants don’t realize, however, is that they have the right to request a “reconsideration” to have a claim reviewed again. You are not required to have legal assistance, but consulting with an attorney can make the difference between an approval and further denials and lengthy delay.