How To Know To Apply For SSDI or SSI

If you are unable to work because of medical problems, you need to know how to apply for SSDI or SSI. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

These two programs both require the individual to prove his or her disability by meeting the medical requirements set forth in the Blue Book, which is the medical guide used by the SSA. However, the two disability programs do have some specific differences.

How Do I Know What to Apply For?

To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned sufficient work credits. Usually, that means you must have worked the equivalent of five years full-time out of the last 10 years. No income guidelines are required for SSDI. However, SSI is a needs-based program. You have to fall within the specific income guidelines that have been established by the SSA. You know whether to apply for SSDI or SSI based on your work history, but if you wait too long your work credits will expire. However, the first six months you are disabled do not qualify for benefits. You must be unable to work for at least a year in order to qualify for disability benefits.

How to know to apply for SSDI or SSI

Here's a little more information on how you can qualify for SSDI benefits.

Applying for SSDI

If you have worked during the last 10 years, you should apply for SSDI before your credits expire. If you wait too long after you have stopped working to apply you might lose your chance to receive benefits. Knowing how to proceed with a claim for SSDI is detrimental to the success of your claim and your chances of being awarded benefits. There is a thorough process that must be followed to have a successful disability claim. You must make sure that the forms are completed accurately and in detail, free from misspelled words and errors.

Your disability claim will require documentation that supports it. Your documentation should include medical records, written statements such as a journal detailing any symptoms and how they impact your daily life, and any medications that you take and the symptoms and side effects caused by your prescription drugs and treatments. Make sure all symptoms are listed in detail, so Disability Determination Services will understand how you are affected by your condition on a daily basis. With a residual functioning capacity (RFC) form, your treating physicians can show any limitations or restrictions that result from your condition by stating them in detail on the form.

How To Improve The Odds Of A Successful SSDI Claim

With the help of an attorney or advocate, you can improve your chances of being approved for benefits significantly. An experienced representative will know how to apply for disability and will know which program, SSI or SSDI, is the program that suits your needs. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney right away, so you can make sure your claim is on the right track. Because your lawyer will be paid on a contingency basis, you have no upfront costs or nothing to lose.