There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer from different types of disabilities in our Country. Fortunately, we have programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for disabled people in need. To determine your SSDI eligibility, the Social Security Administration follows a process that decides if you deserve social security disability benefits.
But before we get to that process, you first need to understand what is the definition of “disability” for the Social Security Administration.
What Is a “Disability”?
When you’re applying for disability benefits, you first need to be sure you’ll qualify as being disabled according to the Social Security Administration standards. You might find it surprising that the SSA does not consider every disabling condition to be a disability. The SSA has a Listing of Impairments,or a “Blue Book”, which lists all the conditions that qualify for disability.
This means that just because you’re unable to work, doesn’t mean the SSA will go easy on you. For the SSA to consider you disabled, you have to be suffering from a long-term disability. Meaning, your disability must last for a period of 12 months or more.
For example, if you’ve been working as an administrative assistant for the past ten years, you may have moved around your office quite a bit. Now that you’re disabled, you aren’t able to perform the activities that your job requires. While you may be disabled according to yourself andyour doctor, the SSA doesn’t necessarily feel the same way.
It might be possible that you’re able to perform different kinds of jobs that can enable you to earn a living for your family. If you’re able to do a different job, you’re not going to qualify for disability benefits.
That is why it is essential that you know how strong or weak your case will be before you apply for SSDI benefits.
To help you determine your eligibility, here are 5 of the best ways you can determine if you’re going to qualify for disability benefits.
1. You’re Not Earning Your Monthly Wage
Your monthly wage or substantial gainful activity (SGA) is one of the main determining factors for people who are applying for disability. To determine whether a person is engaged in their SGA, they have to earn more than a specific amount. For non-blind people, the SGA is $1,260 per month. For a blind person, their SGA would be $2,110 per month.
2. You Can’t Do Any of Your Previous Jobs
Like we mentioned earlier, if you’re able to perform any job, you’re probably not going to qualify for SSDI benefits. Before the SSA awards you with disability benefits, they’re also going to make sure that you’re incapable of earning a living from your previous jobs. To do this, they’re going to look at a person’s past relevant work history (PRW). The PRW includes:
- Physical requirements of your last jobs
- Job descriptions
- The difficulties you faced at these jobs
- The reason why your disability can’t let you perform the tasks you were previously able to perform
It’s also understandable that when an individual is jobless, their ability to pay for a quality attorney is impacted – and that’s where Kahn and Associates can help. Not only do we provide you with a free disability case assessment, but we also work on a contingency fee basis. Meaning, we don’t get paid unless you’ve received your disability benefits.
3. You’ve Worked Enough to Qualify
Another factor SSDI requires is the number of working quarters you’ve accumulated, and the taxes you’ve paid through pay checks. These contributions to the SSA are considered “credits,” and you can earn up to 4 credits per year.
To qualify for disability, you’ll typically need 40 credits, 20 of which should’ve been obtained in the last ten years before you got your disability. However, the number of credits that you require can differ depending on how old you are.
The younger you are, the fewer the credits you’re going to require for disability benefits.
4. Difficulty With Day-to-Day Activities
When the the SSA starts evaluating your case, they will want to know how you handle your activities of daily living or “ADLs”. ADLs can include:
- Personal Hygiene
- Social interactions
And many other personal interactions that a person can have. If your disabling condition prevents you from living a comfortable life, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits.
5. You’re A US Resident
Social security benefits are mostly provided to citizens of the United States. While some non-citizens can contribute to the Social Security program through taxes, their chances of getting social security benefits are slim. Citizens, on the other hand, have to go through far fewer steps and have a higher chance of getting benefits.
Hire An Attorney
It is understandable that when an individual is out of work, their ability to pay for an attorney is impacted. That is why Kahn and Associates takes most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not require any payment unless we are successful in securing benefits for you.
To learn more about your rights under the Social Security Disability laws call our FREE Disability Hotline at 1-866-4-MY-SSDI (469-7734) to speak with one of our friendly disability rights advocates who, once they obtain all the required information, will evaluate your claim in 60 seconds or less. Alternatively, you can fill out our FREE Disability Case Assessment form and one of our representatives will contact you immediately.