When Should You Consider Applying for Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI, for short) is a government program that provides monetary support for people who suffer from a disability that prevents them from working. Millions of Americans claim disability benefits through SSDI every year, although not every person with a disability has it, or necessarily qualifies for it. So how do you know if you should apply for Social Security Disability Insurance?
In the context of Social Security Disability, a “disability” refers to any physical or psychological condition that substantially impairs your ability to function in day to day life. However, many disabilities are, due to advances in modern medicine, manageable enough that many people with disabilities can support themselves through their own gainful employment. SSDI, however, is for people who can’t support themselves with gainful employment, even with medical assistance or reasonable accommodations from their employers.
The determination as to whether someone is sufficiently impaired by their disability is dependent on several factors. First, there is the severity of the impairment itself; second, whether the impairment is a part of a medical condition recognized by the medical community; and third, whether there are other jobs the person could reasonably take up, based on their training, education and experience. For example, a spinal injury that significantly impairs a person’s ability to walk might qualify them for SSDI if they are a construction worker with a high school diploma, since they are unlikely to find employment where the inability to walk would be an impediment. However, the same injury might not be considered disabling for a practicing attorney, whose job requires comparatively little physical exertion.
This means that you should generally consider applying for SSDI if you are sufficiently impaired by your condition and you don’t think you’ll be able to find gainful employment in your current state. SSDI is meant to support people who can’t otherwise support themselves, after all, and if you can still support yourself, SSDI may not be right for you. If you’re not sure where you fall, it may be wise to speak to legal counsel to determine your likelihood of qualifying for SSDI.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.