Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance?


Courthouse columnsYou didn’t plan on becoming disabled, but it happened and now an illness or injury makes it impossible for you to work. The staff at Disability Professionals know that disability adds an uncertainty to your financial situation and can even lead to financial ruin. For these reasons, the federal government offers the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.


SSDI differs from the other main source of support, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. SSDI is designed for disabled workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is for those in severe financial need.

How does the Social Security Administration decide on whether I’m eligible to receive disability?

The SSA looks at a number of factors when determining your eligibility for benefits. Some of these include:

  • You have worked in jobs that were covered by Social Security and earned work credits with the SSA. The credits are based on annual income and you may earn up to four credits a year.
  • You have a medical condition that meets the SSA definition of disability. This definition includes only total disability. You cannot qualify if you are partially disabled or disabled for a short term.
  • You are unable to work or have not worked for a year or more due to your disability. You must be able to prove that you cannot do the work you did before and cannot perform other types of work.

How does the SSA decide if I am disabled?

The Social Security disability program considers five points:

  • Whether or not you are currently working. For 2013, if you are working and make more than $1,040 a month, your claim will be denied.
  • Whether or not your condition is considered severe? Your disability must  interfere with basic work-related activities.
  • Whether your disability is on the list of disabling conditions. SSA disability maintains a list of medical conditions that automatically deem your condition as disabling, known as the Compassionate Allowances Program. However, there are ways to qualify based on conditions not on the list.
  • Whether or not you can perform the work you did previously. Your condition must interfere with your previous work. If it is not as severe as the listed medical conditions, the SSA will determine if it qualifies.
  • Whether or not you can do any other type of work? The final step in the qualification process considers the possibility of your ability to adjust to another type of work. If you are unable to do this, you will be approved.

Getting Legal Help

If you or a loved one needs to pursue a disability claim or wishes to discuss claim eligibility, give Disability Professionals a call at 855-201-9569 or email DisabilityProfessionals to set up your appointment today.



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