Employees must meet these requirements to receive disability benefits
If you’re disabled, have been injured while working or are unable to work because of various health issues, then you might be eligible for Social Security disability benefits such as Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI).
The first step to determine if you’re eligible or not is to speak to your doctor. You’ll need to get documentation of your disability to give to the Social Security office. You’ll then need to complete an application so that someone can review your claim.
There are a few requirements that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for SSDI and SSI. If you’re denied, you can meet with one of our experienced attorneys to file an appeal so that you can try to obtain benefits. In most cases, you won’t have to pay legal fees until the attorney wins your case. This is beneficial as you can save the money that you do have for necessary bills and payments while you heal.
Eligibility for Social Security benefits
You can apply for both programs to see which one you’re eligible to receive. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your past income and documents from your doctor to determine if you qualify for both programs, but most of the time, you’ll only receive one.
One requirement is that you need to have a disability that prevents you from working. Keep in mind that you might be able to work a minimum number of hours set forth by the state, but you need to have a disability that prevents substantial employment.
Your disability must last for at least 1 year with the expectation that it will last past that year. This is when you need the correct information from your doctor about your disability, how long you’ve had it and if there is an expectation that you’ll recover at any point in time. You can receive short-term disability if you experience an illness or injury that is treatable and expected to go away with proper medical attention.
There is a system through the SSA that allows you to earn points each year that you work. If you don’t earn enough work points or credits, then you likely won’t be eligible for SSDI or SSI. If you’ve only worked part-time or if you’ve worked full-time for only a few years, then you might be eligible for partial benefits instead of the full amount of benefits that you would normally receive.
In most instances, you would need to have enough credits from 5 out of 10 years that you’ve worked. One difference for qualifying for SSI is that you need to be in a low-income bracket and have few assets in your name.
What medical conditions qualify?
There are a number of medical conditions that qualify for SSDI and SSI. Some of these conditions are present from the time someone is born while others could be the result of an accident or an illness. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that the disability must prevent you from working enough hours to sustain yourself and/or your family.
Musculoskeletal issues can make you eligible to receive SSDI or SSI. These include multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy as well as other issues that prevent you from properly moving and maintaining a job.
Issues that impact your senses, such as your vision or hearing, can qualify you to receive SSDI or SSI. Some respiratory issues are included in the list of disabilities including COPD and asthma. Some respiratory issues might not present themselves until later in life, which means that you would need to have the appropriate number of work credits in order to receive SSDI or SSI.
Issues that impact your cardiovascular system are often included in illnesses that make you eligible to receive disability. These include heart failure and diseases that impact the coronary system. Some digestive issues are included, such as inflammatory bowel disease. Your doctor would need to document that an illness like this prevents you from working at all or only allows you to work a minimum number of hours each week, as some digestive issues can be treated or maintained with proper medications.
Mental disorders are among the illnesses that some people don’t think are eligible for SSDI or SSI but are actually very common for receiving benefits. Anxiety and depression are only 2 of the mental disorders that can make you eligible to receive payments, but you usually need to see a therapist or a doctor who specializes in mental disorders before you are approved.
Other disabilities that could make you eligible to receive SSDI or SSI include HIV, kidney disease, hemophilia and cerebral palsy.