The U.S. Government, through the Social Security Administration (SSA), runs the Social Security Disability insurance program (SSDI or SSD). This program is designed to help those who are expected to be disabled and unable to work, for a year or longer. Monthly benefit payments are calculated based on your lifetime earnings, as reported to the government, with adjustments to account for other income from sources such as workers’ compensation, pension plan, etc.
Am I eligible for Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is fairly strict in defining the term disability. There are several key factors that the SSA will evaluate:
- Your disability must prevent you from doing the same work you did before;
- The SSA must determine that you are unable to do another type of work because of your condition;
- Your disability must be long-term (to last more than 12 months, be permanent or terminal);
- You must have accumulated sufficient work credits (duration and recency of work are both considered). This number changes each year. You may check the SSA site at www.socialsecurity.gov to verify your work credits.
Special consideration is given to children, the blind, and wounded warriors. Note that even if you are approved, the SSA may revoke that approval at any time in the future if they believe you no longer meet the eligibility criteria. The SSA routinely denies claims where the disability is due to alcohol or drug use, or where claimants refuse to follow medical advice.
What is Supplemental Security Income?
A second program is run by the SSA under the name Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are 65 or older, blind or disabled, and are considered low income, you may qualify for SSI to assist with your basic living expenses. More information can be found on the SSA website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
The experienced disability attorneys at Charles G. Pitman Attorneys at Law, LLC can help you through the Social Security Disability application process, or handle an appeal if your initial claim is rejected. Contact us today to learn more by calling us toll-free at 855-4-PITMAN, or by submitting an online case review form today