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When you are dealing with a serious disability or injury that prevents you from working, you are likely worrying about your finances. There are several government-run programs designed specifically to assist you financially while you are unable to work. As with many programs of this nature, the criteria to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be confusing, and the language used in the process might make it difficult to apply correctly. Here is a quick and easy breakdown of how you can apply for SSDI.
The Social Security and Supplemental Security programs are some of the largest federal programs that assist those with disabilities. Both programs exist under the Social Security Administration (SSA), and they are not mutually exclusive, which means you can apply for both if you fit the criteria.
SSDI pays benefits to you and select family members if you are “insured,” meaning you have worked long enough (at least part-time over the last 10 years), and you have paid your Social Security taxes. On the other hand, SSI pays benefits based on financial need, regardless of whether you have worked recently (or ever). For SSI, you must also have limited income and resources, be a U.S. citizen or national, and live in either the United States or Northern Mariana Islands.
When you apply for SSDI benefits, you submit medical information (including your potential disability), along with official documents and other pieces of relevant information about yourself to the SSA. They then review your materials and determine whether you meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled” or not. If you become disabled and your condition is expected to last for at least one year (including conditions that are expected to be permanent), then you should consider applying as soon as possible.
The reviewers may also periodically need updated information about your condition and how it has changed from the time you submitted your application.
If you are denied your SSDI benefits, you can appeal the decision. An experienced attorney can also help with this step of the process, as finding the right form and successfully appealing a decision can be a challenge.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law has decades of experience helping SSDI applicants get their hard-earned benefits. We do not charge you a single dollar for our services unless you receive your benefits. Call our office to speak with someone about your situation and set up a free consultation.
Check out our SSDI eligibility quiz to learn if you qualify!
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law