How Do I Apply for SSDI Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) provides disability benefits through two programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (more commonly referred to as “SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (also known as “SSI”). This post concerns eligibility for SSDI benefits.

SSDI pays benefits for American workers who become disabled and unable to work for at least a year. You have to meet two work standards in order to begin receiving benefits. First, the SSA has a “recent work” test. You must have worked a certain amount of time in recent years. This varies according to your age, but the general guideline is that you must have worked half of the recent ten-year period.

Second, the SSA has a “duration of work” test. This also varies according to your age. Starting at the age of 28, you must have worked 1.5 years. At the age of 50, for example, that number rises to 7 years. At age 60, it is 9.5 years.

The next step for applicants is meeting the SSA’s disability requirement. The SSA requires complete disability; applicants who are partially disabled or who suffer from a disability for less than a year cannot receive SSDI benefits. Your disability must be severe enough that even basic tasks like walking and sitting are too painful. The SSA considers whether you can perform your old job or any other type of work before it makes the ultimate decision to award disability benefits.

You can submit an SSDI application via the internet or in person at a local SSA office. Are you a disabled worker who has benefited from SSDI benefits? What suggestions do you have to others considering filing for SSDI benefits?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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