It’s a difficult time for many people right now. Some workers have been laid off, others have had hours reduced. Although, for those that can’t work due to a disability, it has been difficult long before 2020.
If you or someone in your family is struggling to work due to a disability, it will be worth your while to look into SSDI (social security disability insurance.)
Keep reading to learn the basics about SSDI requirements, how to apply, and what to expect.
What Is SSDI?
Social security disability insurance is a program for working-age adults who have been working but no longer are able to work due to a disability.
There are lots of factors about your age when you became disabled, and for long you worked that all are considered.
But the main idea of the program is that it’s a baseline worker’s insurance program that workers pay into while they’re working normally, and then can access the benefits if they become disabled before retirement.
Most workers indeed pay into the SSDI program. Just look at your paycheck to see how much is withheld from this program!
Don’t confuse this with another, similar-sounding program. SSDI is not the same as SSI (supplemental security income), which does not have a previous work requirement. (The medical disability stipulations are the same for both programs.)
What Are the SSDI Requirements?
There are essentially two requirements that determine eligibility: a medical requirement and a non-medical one.
The medical requirement is that you must have a disability that prevents you from working enough to provide for yourself and your family.
Perhaps you can work a few hours a week before your condition prevents you from doing more. That qualifies. Perhaps you have a condition that prevents any work at all. That definitely qualifies.
The other requirement is that you’ve been working enough, and recently enough, to have been “insured” by the program. Essentially, this program is meant for people that have become disabled before retirement, and are accustomed to providing for themselves.
This social security disability guide has lots of great advice for making sure you maximize the benefits you’re entitled to.
How To Apply
You can apply online at the Social Security Administration’s website, on the phone, or in-person at the SSA office. Using the online application is likely the easiest.
The program is so large that more often than not applicants will be denied. To minimize the chance you’ll be denied, you’ll want to do some preparation before applying.
Gather up all the documentation about your work life, income, and medical records. These will all be crucial in the process so that the government can determine if you qualify.
The evaluators may follow up with you after they’ve received the application in order to clarify things or get more information. The more documentation you have ready, the greater the chance that you’ll be approved.
Prepare and Apply
If you are truly unable to work anymore, do not hesitate to apply for SSDI. The SSDI requirements are set so that you should receive benefits if you have paid into the program and have been disabled.
There is no reason not to apply if you qualify.
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