What Questions Should I Ask Before Applying for Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program administered by the Social Security Administration that pays monthly benefits to disabled workers. If you have become disabled and you are no longer able to work, you probably have many questions about SSDI and the application process. Below are five of the most common SSDI questions our attorneys receive from individuals considering applying for disability benefits.
Common Questions About Social Security Disability Benefits
Have I worked long enough to qualify for SSDI?
In order to qualify for SSDI, you must have earned a minimum of 40 work credits. Twenty of those work credits must have been earned in 10 years prior to you becoming disabled. If you are younger, you may be eligible for SSDI with less than 40 work credits.
Is my physical or mental condition severe enough to qualify for SSDI?
The Social Security Administration has its own definition of disabled. In order to qualify for disability, your mental or physical condition must be severe enough to meet the SSA definition of disability. The SSA has a “Blue Book” that lists many conditions and the criteria used to determine if the condition meets the definition of disabled.
SSA’s definition of disabled is any condition that prevents you from performing a gainful activity and that has lasted at least 12 months or is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Can I work?
Your disability must prevent you from “performing a gainful activity.” A “gainful activity” is working to earn income to support yourself. The SSA must determine your disability prevents you from working to earn a minimum amount of money each month. The amount is adjusted based on inflation.
What information do I need to get together?
Completing an SSDI application requires a substantial amount of information. It helps to have the following items when you begin your SSDI application.
- Birth certificate and proof of United States citizen status
- Social Security card
- W-2 forms or other proof of income and work history
- Copies of all medical records including diagnostic reports and the names, addresses, and dates of treatment for each physician or medical provider
- List of all medications and dosages
- List of all diagnosed medical conditions
You may also need copies of other records and additional information depending on your specific circumstances.
Do I need an attorney?
Many Social Security Disability applications are denied at the first and second level. Applying for SSDI can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. Hiring a Boca Raton SSDI attorney can help prevent mistakes in the application process that result in a denial or delay of your application. Having an attorney to appeal a denial is definitely an advantage.
Do You Have More Questions About Social Security Disability?
If you have more questions about SSDI or the SSDI application process, contact the Boca Raton disability attorneys of The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. Our attorneys have extensive experience assisting individuals with the SSDI application process.