Do You Qualify For SSDI Benefits from SSA? (Social Security Disability Insurance)

If you are about to undertake the process of applying for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) there are a few things to know in advance about whether or not you qualify. There are certain requirements that must be met to be awarded disability benefits. Since the process is so in-depth and can be quite lengthy, it helps to know in advance if you can potentially qualify for disability before you begin the process. Being awarded benefits can take as little as 3 to 4 months, and can possibly take up to 6 months, a year or even longer than a year in some cases.

Here are some qualifying factors for SSDI that you should take into account before applying:

1) You must have a physical or mental medical condition that prevents you from working. This must be proved by medical documentation that outlines exactly how you are disabled and the limitations that apply. There are exceptions to this rule. If you have an ability to work, you must not make more than the allowable earnings limit (SGA) per month. If you make more than the monthly SSA job earnings limit, you will not be qualified for SSDI.

2) Your medical condition must be expected to result in death or it must have already lasted, or be expected to last, for over a year. If the condition will not result in death and cannot be expected to definitely last for at least a year, you will not be qualified for SSDI.

3) In addition to having a medical condition which prevents you from working and is expected to result in death or last for at least a year, you must have also paid social security payroll taxes. If you have not paid these taxes over a specific period of time, you may not be insured and may not qualify for SSDI.

4) While you may not be able to engage your previous work due to your disability, you also must not be able to engage in any work you have held over the last 15 years, or any other type of work that is available to you. When determining what type of work you may be able to do the Social Security administration takes your past experience, skill set, age and education level into account. If there is another type of work you are qualified for and can do regardless of your disability, you may not be qualified for SSDI.

5) One last thing to consider is whether or not your disability is listed in the SSA's list of disabling impairments. If your disability is listed you may be automatically disabled. If you disability is not listed, do not give up hope; Social Security may decide that you disability is equal to an impairment on the list.

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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