Even if you think your medical condition should entitle you to get a disability benefit, when you file the application you will find it is hard to get a benefit. This is because the majority of disability benefits initial applications are denied.
This is often because the evidence provided doesn’t always prove that your medical condition is severe enough that you are unable to work for 12 months as this is a requirement for eligibility for a disability benefit.
Why is it Difficult to be Approved for a Disability Benefit?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a Blue Book which lists medical conditions whose victims are eligible for social security disability benefits. However, not all medical conditions have their own listing which makes it difficult for the applicant to get an application approved.
Also, the application form is hard to fill in correctly so you have the maximum chance of being approved. It is important to get your doctor to be part of the application process who can provide a detailed report of your medical condition. Working with a licensed attorney can help you get your application approved as well.
Who Is Eligible for Disability benefits?
Before you apply for a benefit through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) scheme, it’s important to find out whether or not you qualify. There are two disability benefits programs available to people who are unable to work due to a severe medical condition.
These are SSDI and SSI. SSDI is available to applicants with specific medical conditions and who have accumulated sufficient work credits by paying tax over a period of time. These work credits are based on total yearly wages or self-employment income.
You can earn up to 4 credits yearly. In 2022, you earn one credit for each $1,510 in wages or self-employment income. When you've earned $6,040 you've earned your four credits for the year.
The number of work credits you require for eligibility for SSDI depends on your age when you first become disabled. Typically you need 40 credits, 20 of which should be earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
If you haven’t earned sufficient work credits but you are considered disabled and unable to work for at least 12 months you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is means tested and you are assessed both on what you may still be earning and your assets.
The SSI program offers monthly payments to people who:
- are 65 years or older or are blind or disabled;
- have a limited income;
- have limited assets.
You may be eligible for SSI if your assets are worth $2,000 or less, or, for a couple, $3,000 or less.
Free Case Evaluation
Even though they may be denied the first time you apply for disability benefits you should have a better chance if you appeal. Fill out a free evaluation form so you can soon start your application for SSDI or SSI.