Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will pay monthly benefits to those who have become disabled before they reach retirement age. The disability must make you unable to work for at least one year, and it could be much longer. The benefits will continue as long as you are unable to return to work.
These benefits are only available to those who meet certain qualifications. There are both work qualifications and qualifications related to the type of injury or disability involved.
Work Qualifications to Receive Social Security Disability Insurance
The Social Security Program is unique because you can only receive benefits if you have contributed enough to the Program before you make a claim.
Social Security takes a specific amount from your paycheck while you are working. Once you have contributed enough funds, then you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration tracks the amount contributed to the program. It will turn your dollars contributed into work credits. These work credits are calculated on an annual basis, and you can earn up to four credits each year. The required amount for each credit will vary by year.
For example, in 2015 each $1,220 of wages will earn one work credit. As a general rule, you will need at least 40 credits to qualify for the Program. Twenty of those credits must have been earned in the ten years before you became disabled. There may be exceptions to the credit requirements if the disabled worker is younger.
Injury or Disability Qualifications Under Social Security Disability Insurance
Only certain types of injuries or disabilities will be covered under the Social Security Program. You must be completely disabled to receive benefits. Partial disability or short-term disability payments are not available.
The Social Security Administration defines “disability” as:
- Being unable to do the work that you previously did before;
- Being unable to adjust to other work because of your medical conditions; and
- A condition that either has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or may result in death.
There are also income limitations for those who want to qualify for Social Security disability. In 2015, for example, if you earn more than $1,090 per month, then you cannot be considered disabled.
Some medical conditions are so severe that they automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Similarly, some conditions are not severe enough to warrant receiving benefits.
Determining whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated. The West Palm Beach, FL social security attorneys can help. Give Fetterman & Associates, PA a call today if you have questions or need help applying for these benefits.