When you have a disability or medical condition that prevents you from working, it can be devastating. You can no longer earn the money you once did or work at a job you used to love.
We understand your pain and sympathize with you. Our Social Security Disability lawyer can offer a solution to your financial concerns by determining if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and helping you throughout the process. In addition, we offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and next steps.
What Are the Requirements to Qualify for Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) strictly defines disability and has specific criteria you must meet to be considered eligible. To qualify for Social Security Disability, you must meet several requirements, including:
Work Credit Qualifications for SSDI
The first requirement to qualify for social security disability is to earn work credits. Work credits are based on your income and the time you worked. For example, the average 60-year-old worker needs 40 work credits earned within the last 10 years, with the last year of work being the year the disability begins, to be eligible for benefits.
However, this differs for younger workers, such as a 20-year-old worker that applies for benefits. Young workers who are seeking benefits usually need a total of 6 work credits to be eligible. Each year every worker can earn up to four work credits.
The amount of work credits you need to qualify for benefits fluctuates yearly. For example, in 2023, for every $1,640 you earn at your job, it equals one work credit. So after you reach $6,560 in wages, you have four work credits for the year.
SSDI Medical Condition Requirements
The second requirement for a person to be eligible for benefits is to be disabled and have a qualifying medical condition. The SSA states that your condition must be ongoing to be qualified as disabled. This means it must continue for at least 12 months or could result in death.
The medical conditions that qualify you for social security benefits are often life-threatening and have a major impact on your life. These medical conditions include the following categories:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Speech and senses disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system issues
- Digestive system disorders
- Genital and urinary disorders
- Blood disorders
- Skin disorders
- Hormone disorders
- Disorders that affect various systems from birth
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Lung Disease
This is a general list with several disorders that qualify within each category. A few of these sub-categories include chronic kidney disease, depression, and inflammatory bowel disease. Our Social Security Disability lawyer will review your conditions in detail and tell you if you qualify.
Ability to Work Determination for SSDI
The SSA will evaluate your ability to work and determine whether you can perform your previous job or any other job in the national economy. If the SSA determines that you cannot perform any work, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
As a worker, your inability to work could mean that you cannot do physical actions such as bending, lifting, use machinery due to a physical disability. Also, you may be unable to perform mental tasks such as learning new skills or using critical thinking to make decisions due to a mental illness or mental impairment.
Income Limit Eligibility for SSDI
You cannot earn more than the monthly earnings limit to qualify for SSDI benefits. The monthly earnings limit is also known substantial gainful activity (SGA). The SSA provides a table showing each year’s monthly substantial gainful activity amount.
It’s important to keep in mind that every year the amount changes. For example, in 2023, to qualify for social security, you must make less than $1,470 a month before taxes, which is gross income. So if you make more than $1,470 monthly, you will not qualify for social security.
People confuse this eligibility rule and believe they qualify for benefits when they do not. Gross income is money you make before tax deductions. At the same time, net income is what you receive via check or direct deposit into your bank account.
How Long do You Have to Wait Until You Receive Your Benefits?
When you are approved for disability payments and receive a confirmation letter from the SSA, it can be an exciting time. Finally, you’re one step closer to receiving your benefits to continue your life with financial security. However, knowing that the SSA imposes a five-month waiting period on your benefits is important.
There is a waiting period because the administration wants to ensure your health condition is long-term. Therefore, after the five months, you’ll receive your benefits in the sixth full month after the date you stated your medical condition began.
One exception to the waiting period is if you have been approved for benefits and have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Due to the rapidly progressing nature of ALS and its severe impact on the individuals affected, the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act was enacted to help ensure people with ALS can access their benefits quickly.
Talk to your Social Security Disability lawyer to discuss your case and learn more about the SSDI waiting period.
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help in Your Disability Benefits Case
Our Social Security Disability lawyers play a crucial role in assisting clients throughout the qualification and application process. Providing expert guidance and support, they help improve the chances of a successful outcome.
Here are some key ways our attorneys can help you in your SSDI benefits case:
- Determining eligibility: Our experienced lawyers will evaluate your case and help you determine if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on your medical condition and work history.
- Gathering necessary documentation: Our experienced attorneys will guide you in gathering the required medical records and other medical evidence, employment history, and other supporting documents necessary to build a strong case for your initial application.
- Completing the application: Our disability benefits attorneys can help you accurately fill out the Social Security Disability application, ensuring that it is complete and error-free to minimize the risk of a denial. One of the most common reasons the SSA denies applications is that people make the mistake of providing inaccurate or incomplete information.
Our team will guide you through the qualification and application process, ensuring all necessary documentation is in order and you meet eligibility requirements. With our decades of experience, you can maximize your chances of a successful outcome and focus on your health and well-being, knowing your case is in capable hands.
Connect With a Social Security Disability Lawyer to Start Your Claim
At Pilzer Klein, we’re passionate about getting you the benefits you need to manage your disability. In addition, we’ll help you file your benefits claim, gather evidence, and provide legal representation if your claim is denied.
Our Social Security Disability lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you owe us nothing if you don’t receive benefits. So take a step closer to qualifying for your benefits and call us or fill out the form on our contact page for a free consultation.