When someone is disabled, their first concern is usually for their financial future. One way in which an individual may hope to make ends meet is through SSDI benefits, but they might not even know if they can qualify. Below, we’ll look at the requirements for getting approved, so you can take the guesswork out of your situation.
Are You Completely Disabled?
The first criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration is that the applicant must be totally disabled, according to their definition. Essentially, this means you must be physically unable to perform any type of work you performed in the past. While this means you must be unable to perform the duties involved in your most recent work position, it also means you must be unable to perform other similar duties. If someone of your physical, mental, and educational abilities could perform the tasks, you must prove you cannot.
Did You Contribute To FICA?
Another requirement for qualifying for SSDI benefits is that you have contributed to FICA in recent years. Specifically, you must have paid into the program for at least five of the past 10 years to be eligible to receive benefits. Depending on your age, there may be exceptions to this rule. Workers between 30 and 40 years of age are more strictly governed by this rule than either younger or older applicants.
Do You Qualify For Automatic Acceptance?
In some circumstances, you may be able to qualify for SSDI benefits in an expedited process. This option is for those suffering from medical conditions so severe that they are automatically considered to render an individual disabled. Acute leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and pancreatic cancer are among those on the list of medical conditions that allow for this process.
In some cases, an individual may qualify for SSDI benefits through other means. For instance, an individual who has worsening eyesight to the point that they are either blind or have low vision may qualify for benefits.
Additionally, a family may be able to receive benefits for a disabled child. Similarly, a widow or widower can be eligible for benefits, due to the loss of a spouse. In that circumstance, benefits may be awarded, if the deceased spouse had been the primary source of income for the household.
Finally, wounded and disabled veterans may also be able to obtain SSDI payments, depending on the severity of their injuries.
Individuals interested in learning more about their specific circumstances and their eligibility for SSDI benefits should consult an attorney experienced in disability cases.