Many Floridians think about retirement when they hear Social Security. The Social Security Administration offers several programs in addition to the Social Security retirement program, including the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI).
SSDI offers monetary benefits for U.S. workers who suffer disabling conditions that prevent them from being able to earn a living. Workers who have suffered from a disabling illness or injury and who are unable to return to their jobs may be able to recover monthly benefits so that they can pay for their basic expenses.
SSDI is a type of insurance that is paid for from automatic deductions that are taken out of your paycheck. Most workers do not even realize that this coverage is available. The SSDI program was implemented in 1956 and has grown to now cover around 9.5 million disabled workers.
Some people confuse the SSDI program with another program that is also offered by the Social Security Administration. This second program, called Supplemental Security Income, provides monetary benefits to certain disabled people based on their financial needs. Unlike SSI, SSDI eligibility is based on the number of work credits that a worker has earned as well as his or her disability meeting the SSA’s stringent requirements.
Social Security work credits are based on your annual wages or the total of your self employment income. The amount of income needed to earn a work credit changes each year and you can earn a maximum of 4 work credits per year.
The required number of work credits for SSDI eligibility are dependent on your age:
- People ages 21 to 24 must have six credits during the preceding three years.
- People ages 24 to 31 must have credits that are equal to the amount that has been earned during half of the time period that they have worked since age 21.
- People who are 32 to 42 must have earned twenty credits over the past 10 years.
- People who are 43 and up must have earned between 22 to 40 credits, depending on their age. Twenty of those credits must have been earned during the preceding 10 years.
In addition to meeting the work credits for your age group, your disability must meet or exceed what the Social Security Administration has outlined. The SSA uses stricter guidelines for disabilities than do other programs. Your disability must keep you from doing your former job, and it must also prevent you from doing other types of work. Your disability must also be certified by a doctor as one that is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
The following are a few common examples of conditions that may qualify you for SSDI:
Lawyers for Social Security Disability in Florida
If you apply for SSDI on your own, you will have to prove to the SSA that your disability either meets or exceeds the outlined requirements. This will require you to understand all of the medical terms that are used in your medical records. The Social Security Administration routinely denies a majority of initial applications even if they are accurately completed and contain the required proof.
If your claim is denied, you can avail yourself of the four-step appeals process within the Social Security Administration. While you may be able to have your denial reversed, you should understand that appeals are normally more complex than are the initial applications.
Getting Help from Disability Attorney Florida
When you choose to seek the help of one of the experienced disability lawyers at Chermol & Fishman LLC, you may be more likely to win the approval of your initial application or your appeal. Our highly skilled team may be able to assist you with completing your application, gathering your documents and submitting everything that is required to the Social Security Administration.
If your claim has been denied, we can assist you with gathering and submitting the additional evidence that might be needed to support your claim and then represent you during your hearing before an administrative law judge. Contact us today to schedule your consultation about SSDI in Florida.