Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has long been a resource for people who are unable to work due to a disability. However, the process for applying for SSDI can seem confusing for someone who has never dealt with it before, and especially someone who is already dealing with the consequences of a severe disability. Fortunately, the requirements are relatively easy to understand, once they’re broken down.
There are two primary requirements in determining who may receive SSDI: a “work credit” requirement, and a determination of disability. “Work credits” are a measurement of the amount of gainful employment a person has engaged in over a certain period. Each work credit in 2019 represents $1,360 worth of gainful employment over the course of a single fiscal quarter, or $5,440 per fiscal year. The exact number of work credits you need to be eligible for SSDI is dependent on your age, with a maximum of 40 work credits at age 62 or above.
The second requirement is a determination of disability, which is made by a special Disability Determination Office located in each of the states. These offices determine not only whether a person has a disability, but also the extent to which it prevents them from obtaining gainful employment. The Social Security Administration uses these offices, rather than relying on independent doctor’s diagnoses, to avoid inconsistently applied standards and prevent abuse from unscrupulous doctors who might be overly eager to give their patients a favorable determination of disability.
However, even if you do not meet these standards, you may have other options available. If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI 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.