This blog has discussed several aspects of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, including denials. In sum, to qualify for SSDI benefits, there are two requirements. First, the applicant must have worked at a job that is covered by Social Security, shown through the payment of Social Security taxes.
Second, the applicant’s medical condition must meet Social Security’s definition of a disability. If those two are shown in an application, the San Diego applicant should receive SSDI benefits. However, denials may require an attorney.
How long do benefits last?
As we will discuss below, SSDI benefits are only available for those with long-term or terminal medical conditions, so benefits are paid until the applicant is able to work again. Of course, there are some work incentives that can help Rancho Bernardo beneficiaries transition back to work, but benefits, once approved, will last until the beneficiary can work again until retirement age. Then, the SSDI benefits automatically convert to retirement.
What is the work requirement?
In addition to working at a job covered by Social Security, the Del Mar applicant must also have worked for them for long enough. Specifically, Social Security grants work credits based on the applicant’s yearly wages, including self-employment income, up to four credits a year.
The amount needed for these credits changes on a year-to-year basis, but in 2022, one credit equaled about $1,500 up to the fou-credit maximum of $6,040. In addition, the amount of credit one needs to qualify is based on the applicant’s age. Generally, the number is 40 credits, and at least half must be earned within the prior 10 years of the application.
What does disability mean?
Social Security uses a different definition of disability in that SSDI only pays out for total disabilities, not short-term or partial disabilities. This means that the applicant’s medical condition stops them from engaging in substantially gainful activities, and the applicant cannot work their previous occupation, even when work adjustments are used.
Moreover, the medical condition must have already lasted or be expected to last for at least a year, or it will eventually kill the applicant. For example, the medical condition makes work-related activities impossible or nearly impossible, like standing, lifting, walking, sitting, remembering, etc., and that impairment will last at least 12 months.
For Californians who need help now, an attorney may be needed. But, Social Security does have two programs that expedite processing. This includes Compassionate Allowances for acute diagnosed and known diseases, like ALS, pancreatic cancer, etc., and Quick Disability Determinations, which is done through the computer screening process.