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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program for people with disabilities. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees this program. If you worked for a length of time and paid Social Security taxes, you and your family may be eligible for benefits. However, according to Emroch & Kilduff, actually securing these benefits can be trickier than you might expect. The route for receiving SSDI starts at the application process. It ends with the approval of your claim. An appeal can be made for denials.

SSDI Application Process

You can fill out an online application for SSDI. You can also make an appointment to apply over the phone or in person at a Social Security office. The following personal information is necessary for the application:

  • Social security number
  • Documents for proof of birth
  • Medication names and dosages
  • Copies of medical records 
  • Medical test results
  • Employment information
  • Current W-2 form
  • Recent federal income tax return for self-employment

How SSDI Evaluates Your Claim

SSA has a 5 step analysis that determines whether you qualify for benefits. Eligibility for benefits means you will receive payment 6 months after approval. For a claim denial, you can appeal the decision.

Step 1 includes your current employment status. SSA is also curious about the amount of money you are earning. If your income from last year averages more than $1,000 per month, you will not receive SSDI benefits. 

Step 2 involves the severity of your impairment. You are unable to perform your work-related activities. There has to be medical evidence to prove your condition is severe. This condition has to last at least 12 months for the required duration period.

Step 3 pertains to the list of impairments at SSA that qualifies you for benefits. If your condition is on the list, you will receive benefits. Additionally, you can receive approval if your condition is not on the list. It must have the same severity as a condition on the list.

Step 4 talks about your ability to do the same work. SSA will determine if your condition prevents you from doing your job. They will compare the last 15 years of employment to your current work. 

Step 5 relates to your ability to perform another type of job. SSA will consider your skills, education, and age. 

People with disabilities can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. Approval of claims is through the Social Security Administration. There is an application process to determine eligibility. There will be an award of benefits for claim approval. A denied claim can go through the appeal process.

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