Denied disability because of work credits

Denied disability because of work credits

Topic: What do work credits have to do with being disabled and being denied disability?

Question: I have been turned down twice and both of the letters say -"not enough work credits". They further say that "because of lack of work credits we do not need to review your application any further". What do credits have to do with my medical condition?

This is an area in which many individuals are unaware of how the SSA (Social Security Administration) disability programs work. Social Security Disability insurance, or SSDI, also referred to as SSD, is a program for which you must be eligible for in one ways than one. To get SSD disability, you have to be disabled in the way that Social Security considers a person disabled (the condition must be severe, it must last a year, and you must so limited that you cannot work any job while making more than the disability earnings limit. also have to have worked and paid payroll taxes to be insured for Social Security Disability. If you did not pay enough over the years to be insured, your disability claim is denied on that basis regardless of what your medical conditions are. This type of situation potentially affects people who never worked (maybe they stayed home with the kids) and people who once worked a long time ago, and even people who live in states and work in retirement systems that do not pay into Social Security. Many teachers in a number of states fall into this last category.

If you do not qualify for SSD, though, there is a need based SSI disability program that does not depend on an insured status, but you must meet strict income and resource limits to qualify for this program. SSI provides a relatively small monthly benefit amount, but it, depending on the state, usually comes with medicaid for a health insurance benefit. However, SSI is need-based, meaning they count your assets.

Also, if you are married, they count your spouse's income (or a portion of it in a process called deeming). If you want to file for SSI, of course, these are the kinds of questions for a disability lawyer, or someone at a Social Security office can help address them.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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