If you become injured as a result of work-related circumstances, you will want to utilize every resource available to you to ensure that you are able to continue supporting yourself and your family while you are recovering. Workers' compensation is often allows people to accomplish this, but Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may be another viable option for you.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
SSDI is an assistance program run by the Social Security Administration that provides benefits to disabled workers before they reach retirement age. The benefits given by SSDI are given in the form of monthly payments, but before you can collect any benefits you must meet government requirements.
How do you become eligible?
Eligibility for SSDI is determined by your work history and your medical eligibility. Your work history is measured in the form of work credits. These work credits are a measurement of the amount of income you have earned and the amount you have contributed to the Social Security system as a whole by means of FICA (Federal insurance Contributions Act) taxes. The amount of money required to earn a work credit is determined by an annual calculation. As of 2016, one work credit is earned by $1,260 of income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year and the amount of work credits required to make you eligible for SSDI depends on your age and the amount of time you have been working.
In addition to an adequate amount of work credits, you must also be medically eligible. This eligibility is determined by having a disability that meets the SSA's definitions of severe, long-term, or total disability. If you find that both your work and medical histories qualify you for SSDI, you can move on to applying for it.
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance.
You can apply for SSDI online, by phone, or by visiting your local Social Security office. You will need to supply a substantial amount of information including, but not limited to the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the medical professionals that have treated you, test results, medical records, and information about any medications you are taking. If you do apply, know that it is not uncommon for claims to be denied.
If your claim is denied, you can appeal the Social Security Administration's decision. If you are denied and then choose to appeal the denial, know that it can be a long and complicated process. While you can go about it on your own, working through the process with a legal professional who is familiar with the process and requirements will drastically simplify the process for you in addition to making it significantly less stressful.