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Can I qualify for SSDI?

| Aug 9, 2022 | Firm News

When you have a disability or medical condition that makes it impossible for you to work, there are financial benefits available to you. One such benefit is federal Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, which are separate from any benefits you may receive from other sources, like from Indiana directly. But, not everyone qualifies.

Covered jobs

First, to qualify, you must have worked at an Indianapolis, Indiana, job that is covered by Social Security. This means that you paid into Social Security as part of your check or had to directly through the IRS during your self-employment filings.

Work requirement

Second, simply working for a covered job is not enough. Instead, you must work for a minimum amount of time. Time is credited by the amount you earned, converted into work credits. You can get up to four credits each year. For example, for 2022, four credits were valued at $6,040 in wages, $1,510 per credit.

Each Indianapolis, Indiana, worker’s basic requirements are different as younger workers require fewer credits. However, the generally needed amount for 2022 is 40 credits total over your entire working life, with 20 of those credits earned within the last 10 years before your disability began. This timeline is important because, even if you qualify when the disability began, if you wait too long, you may fall out of eligibility.

Qualifying disability

Finally, the last requirement is that you have a qualifying disability. For SSDI benefits, qualifying disabilities are total disabilities. SSDI is not allowable for partial- or short-term disabilities, but the timeline associated with the disabilities is key. After all, one may consider a disability that only lasts for a few years to be short-term and not total, but that is not the case for Social Security.

Specifically, the SS has specific requirements for what it considers a total disability. First, you must not be able to engage in substantial gainful activity because of the disability or medical condition. In other words, you cannot work, even if your Indianapolis, Indiana, employer makes accommodations for your medical condition.

Second, the disability must be one that is expected to last (or already has lasted) for at least 1 year. Alternatively, if the medical condition is expected to eventually kill you, even if that could happen before a year, that condition would also qualify.

Rules are straightforward, applications, not so much

While the rules sound straightforward, when dealing with the federal government, nothing is easy, which is why many Indianapolis, Indiana, SSDI applicants choose to engage a SSD attorney at the beginning or after an initial denial. It is important to know that most people are denied at first and have to go through an appeal process, even if they do qualify.