5 Steps to Determine If You Qualify for SSDI
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to meet the strict criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration. The plus side is that the process has become more streamlined over time and it’s easier than ever to understand your qualifications before you decide whether or not to apply.
To receive approval, you must qualify by law based on certain requirements. Simply believing you are disabled or having a doctor label you as disabled is not enough. This step-by-step qualification list will explain what the SSA is looking for when determining if you should receive Social Security Disability Insurance.
Step 1: Are You Working While You Wait for Application Approval?
Social Security Disability is strictly for people who cannot work. It pays benefits to those who specifically cannot engage in work duties due to a disability. Therefore, if you work and earn enough to support yourself during the application process, you most likely will not qualify for disability. By SSA guidelines, those who are able to work are not “disabled.”
Income thresholds change almost every year, but as of 2019, you must earn less than $1,220 in order to qualify for the disability benefits program. If you fall under this threshold, you can move onto the next step.
Step 2: Am I Disabled Severely Enough to Receive Benefits?
To qualify for Social Security Disability, you must have a condition that’s severe enough to keep you from working. According to the SSA, it must interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities.
Disabled persons either cannot work or cannot perform the tasks they were able to before their disability. If you have a severe condition that prevents you from performing your job duties, you may be labeled disabled by the SSA and qualify for disability.
Step 3: What Qualifies as a Disability?
While shocking to some people, not all medical conditions are considered disabilities, even if you believe they are severe. In order to qualify, you must meet conditions listed in the Listing of Impairments resource, also known as the Blue Book, put forth by the Social Security Administration. If you meet the requirements, you may be automatically approved. If not, you’ll need to go onto the next step.
Step 4: Are You Able to Work Your Former Position?
If your condition does not meet any of the listings in the Blue Book, you’ll need to show that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working. Remember, disability benefits are based on the fact that you cannot work.
If your condition is severe enough to keep you from performing your previous job, you can move onto the next step. If not, then the SSA does not consider you disabled.
Step 5: Are You Able to Do Other Work?
The last qualification for Social Security Disability benefits approval is whether you are able to do other jobs. If you cannot perform your previous job but could do another type of work with a few changes, the SSA does not consider you disabled. To determine this, they will look at your:
- Transferable skills
- Past work experience
- Medical condition
How to Register as Disabled
Benefit approval can be a long process and you may be wondering how to apply. Many people end up denied because they didn’t fully understand the process. This is why it’s important to speak to a Social Security attorney to get advice and determine if you’re eligible before starting, or to help you fight for approval if you’re denied. Call the Disability Help Center today at 1-888-418-8860 to set up an initial consultation to give you a better chance of receiving the benefits you deserve.