No. Though the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is administered by a government agency—the Social Security Administration (SSA)—it isn’t a welfare program.
As you work, both you and your employer pay taxes that fund the program, and you accumulate credits for SSDI benefits. These credits are based on your total wages and income for the year. Since 1978, workers can earn up to four credits annually. Keep in mind that no one needs more than 10 years of employment—or 40 work credits—to qualify for any Social Security benefit.
Provided that you have sufficient work credits, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits if you have a disabling injury or illness that prevents you from working and is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
The SSA Blue Book features a list of qualifying impairments, as well as the criteria for approval for each condition. Some medical conditions may qualify your application for expedited processing via the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program. Additionally, even if your disability isn’t a perfect match for a Blue Book listing, you may still be able to qualify for benefits after undergoing a residual functional capacity (RFC) analysis. This evaluates how your disabling injury or illness affects your ability to perform daily tasks and whether it impairs the physical or cognitive skills needed to achieve substantial gainful employment.
If you haven’t already guessed, the SSDI application process is complex, complicated, and rife with potential pitfalls. More than two-thirds of applications are denied in the initial stage. When that happens, you’ll be forced to wait even longer for the benefits you need while your denial moves through the lengthy appeals process. Don’t let this happen to you. Let an adept Social Security disability attorney handle your application from start to finish.
O’Connor Law PLLC’s knowledgeable and experienced SSDI attorneys can review your claim, and help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary, no-obligation initial consultation.