What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a tax-funded, federal insurance program that pays benefits to you, and those who can receive benefits on your behalf, if you become disabled and are unable to work before your retirement age. If you qualify for SSDI, you will receive monthly cash benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) until you are able to return to work on a regular basis. Work incentives are also available to help victims throughout their transition back to work.
Social Security disability is just one of the many ways a work injury victim may seek recovery. If you or a loved one has been severely injured, we can help you find a disability attorney who can assist you every step of the recovery process.
What is the Definition of “Disability?”
According to the SSA, you are considered “disabled under Social Security rules if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
This is a strict definition of disability.” Because the SSA assumes that working families have access to other resources during periods of partial disability (such as workers’ compensation insurance), they only pay SSDI benefits for total disability.
The SSA uses the Listing of Impairments to decide which conditions automatically qualify an individual as disabled. If the condition an individual suffers from is not listed, they are not disqualified from the process. According to the SSA website, “the absence of a listing-level impairment… merely requires the adjudicator to move on to the next step of the process and apply other rules in order to resolve the issue of disability.”
How do I Qualify for Social Security Disability?
In order to qualify for SSDI you must have worked and been injured in a job covered by Social Security. Also, you must prove that you have worked and contributed to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) for a significant amount of time. The Social Security Administration can answer whether you specifically qualify if you are unsure.
What Can You Do When You are Denied Disability?
Generally, the SSA will deny the first application for Social Security disability. If this happens to you, you will need to file a request for reconsideration. This must be done within 60 days of receiving the denial letter. If your second application is denied, you can appeal to the next stage, which is requesting a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge who works for the SSA. While you are allowed to represent yourself in this SSDI application process, hiring a disability attorney can help ensure your application is comprehensive and accurate.
Hire a Lawyer for Disability Denials
At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we handle personal injury cases that sometimes result in clients needing to file for SSDI benefits. Finding good representation in these matters is critical. If you need assistance locating a Social Security disability attorney that is knowledgeable in SSDI claims and also exhibits a strong moral character, call us at (713) 932-0777. We’re always happy to help you find a SSD attorney as we handle your personal injury case.