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Do I qualify for SSDI benefits?

Being diagnosed with a disabling condition can cause a lot of fear and uncertainty. If you can no longer work, you might wonder where your next paycheck will come from. How will you pay your bills? How will you put food on the table and provide for your family? The unknowns start to add up.

Luckily, the federal government has a safety net in place for those who become disabled and can no longer work. Run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits give income to people who have become disabled and meet certain criteria.

What is SSDI?

SSDI is a program funded by the Social Security Trust Fund. The money to support the Fund comes from workers and employers. Workers pay 6.2 percent of their earnings into Social Security, maxing out at $8,239.80 a year. Only people who have worked a certain number of years and who have paid into Social Security may receive SSDI benefits.

The maximum amount of income a non-blind person may receive per month from SSDI in 2019 is $1,220.

Eligibility

Aside from having worked and paid into the SSA, to qualify for SSDI your disability must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must not be able to continue working in your current position
  2. Your disability must preclude you from finding a new position
  3. Your disability will last at least a year or result in your death

Applying for SSDI

When you apply for SSDI, you will need to provide proof of your disability through a diagnosis by a physician and with evidence such as lab results, tests and symptoms that corroborate the diagnosis. The effectiveness of any treatment you have received will also receive consideration.

Besides proving your disability, the evidence must also show that you are unable to participate in “substantial gainful employment.” That means any work, full time or part time, in which you earn a profit. Your age, work history, education and earnings may also factor into the decision-making process.

Get help

The majority of initial SSDI claims result in rejection, and the application and appeals processes can be both daunting and frustrating. If you or a loved one is thinking about applying for SSDI, consider contacting an attorney who can help you gather the necessary evidence and guide you through the processes.

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