Applying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is not an easy process. You have to prove that you are disabled, you have to prove that your condition prevents you from working, and you have to prove that you’ve been in the workforce long enough to qualify for benefits. Though that sounds pretty straight forward, the devil is in the details, and if you don’t get those details right, your claim will be denied.
What Does SSDI Do?
If you are under 65 and unable to work due to a physical or mental condition, then the SSDI program was meant for you. It grants you Social Security benefits before retirement age, but only if you are forced to stop working before you can retire. However, SSDI isn’t some sort of welfare program. It’s earned by your hard work and taxes.
How Do I Qualify for SSDI?
The payroll taxes that are taken out of your paycheck help fund SSDI, and if you haven’t paid enough into the system, then you can’t claim benefits. You must have worked five of the last 10 years before you sustained a disability to qualify for SSDI, but that’s not the only requirement.
The disabling condition you sustained must keep you from working at the trade you practiced before the impairment. Also, that impairment must prevent you from learning a new trade that would allow you to earn a substantial wage. This condition must also be expected to last at least a year or result in your passing.
In order to prove your condition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires documentation from licensed medical professionals like physicians and psychologists. The SSA is so particular about these documents that sometimes it will require you to be examined one of its own physicians.
Once you’ve met the burden of proving you have a disability there are still many steps left before your benefits can be approved. The SSA will have you fill out many forms and answer many questions, and if you contradict yourself or accidentally fill in the wrong info, your claim could be denied. That’s why getting a disability attorney involved at the beginning of your application process is so important.
Applying for benefits is complicated, and the tiniest mistake could set your application back months or even years. To keep this from happening you need to stay informed, and that’s what our Tulsa disability attorneys are here for. Keep following our blog, and check us out on Twitter and Facebook to find out more about SSDI and making this whole country more accessible for everyone.