Does My Disability Qualify Me For SSDI/SSI?

If you are suffering from a disability that significantly impairs your ability to earn a living, you may be wondering if you can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Fortunately, there are a few ways to tell if you can qualify for these disability benefits programs through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here are five things you need to know about whether your disability will let you qualify for SSDI or SSI:

  1. Your must have a diagnosed physical or psychological condition
    • This must seem obvious at first glance, but to qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, you must have a diagnosed physical or psychological condition. Your condition does not need to meet any known medical condition, but you must have it diagnosed. This means you will need to have sought medical attention for your condition from a licensed medical professional.
  2. Your condition must substantially impair your ability to work and live
    • Another important factor for determining if you qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits is how severe your condition is. Millions of people live and work every day with medical conditions that are managed by medication, therapy, and other treatments. If your condition is not severe enough to prevent you from working, you will not qualify for SSDI or SSI.
  3. You must follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan
    • In that same vein, to qualify for SSDI or SSI, you must be able to demonstrate that you complied with the medical advice of a licensed medical professional. Disability benefits are for those who cannot handle work or daily tasks, even with medical intervention. If you have followed your doctor’s prescribed treatments and still struggle to make a living or perform daily tasks, you may qualify for disability benefits.
  4. Your disability must affect you for at least a year
    • While SSDI and SSI can be awarded for temporary disabilities, those disabilities still need to last for at least one year. This means that there is little use in applying for disability benefits unless you are certain your condition will last at least that long. If you apply for benefits but your condition improves before the correct period has elapsed, you may simply be denied outright.
  5. You must undergo a DDS evaluation
    • Once you have applied for disability benefits and underwent an interview with an SSA agent, you must have your condition evaluated by Disability Determination Services (DDS). They will perform an independent evaluation of your medical condition to determine if you are, in fact, disabled. Once you have fulfilled this final requirement, you will be able to get SSDI or SSI benefits.

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.

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