Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that helps millions of disabled Americans support themselves, but millions more apply for those benefits every year and fail to get them. Often, these people fail because they are not actually eligible for SSDI benefits and do not realize it. So what do you need in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, and what can you do if you are not eligible?
What is SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance is one of two programs run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to support people suffering from disabilities that prevent them from working or caring for themselves. Specifically, it is meant for people who used to work, but are no longer able to due to a severe disability. People who receive SSDI benefits obtain a regular payment intended to help cover their expenses, which automatically adjusts each year based on changes in the cost of living.
How Do You Qualify for SSDI Benefits?
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you need to meet three primary criteria.
- You must have a disability that prevents you from making a gainful wage, and which cannot be managed through regular medical treatment.
- You must meet the minimum number of work credits, which are obtained by earning income and paying Social Security taxes (40 credits for anyone over the age of 30).
- You must not make more than a certain amount of money each year ($1,470 per month for individuals, as of 2023).
Why Might You Get Denied For SSDI Benefits?
There are a number of reasons your application for SSDI benefits might be denied. Often, applications are denied due to simple paperwork errors, but they can also be denied due to a lack of sufficient work credits. You may also be denied if you made too much money (thus proving you are capable of earning a wage) or if you have not been following your doctor’s recommended treatment for your medical problems.
What Should You Do if You Do Not Qualify?
In some cases, you may be able to appeal your application if it was denied, and have it reviewed by someone else. In other cases, you may need to obtain more medical documentation for your disability, or demonstrate you have been keeping with your doctor’s recommended treatment. If you did not qualify due to a lack of work credits, you may instead be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, the only way to be sure is to speak to a lawyer with experience handling Social Security disability claims.
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.