Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) a Social Security program that pays monthly benefits to you if you become disabled before you reach retirement age and aren’t able to work.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability
To qualify for the SSDI program, you must have paid into the Social Security Syestem through FICA taxes. If you cant qualify for SSDI because you havent paid into the system and you become disabled, you may be able to qualify for SSI instead which is for people of limited meand.
How much and long you need to have paid into the Social Security System depends on how old you were when you became disabled. For example, if you are 50 years old when you become disabled, you need have worked for seven years.
You also must have a severe, long-term, total disability.
Severe means that your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities.
Long-term means that your condition has lasted is expected to last at least one year.
Total disability means that you aren’t able to perform “substantial gainful activity” for at least one year.
Approval for SSDI Disability Benefits
If you are approved for disability benefits, you won’t receive SSDI benefits until you have been disabled for five months.
However, it’s more likely you wouldn’t be approved for about six months to a year (after at least one level of appeal).
You can keep receiving SSDI as long as your medical condition prevents you from working.
Denial of SSDI Disability Benefits
If your application for SSD is denied (most initial applications are), you can appeal the decision. You have to request a review of the denial within 60 days of when you receive the denial letter.
Healthcare and SSDI
You are eligible for Medicare after two years on SSDI. This can be a very difficult time to cover your healthcare since you are disabled and probably have significant health problems.
The right lawyer may be able to help you through this process and get benefits faster than if you did not have professional counsel.