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Determining Eligibility for SSDI Disability Benefits


There are two programs established by the federal government to provide financial support to the disabled, and each incorporates strict rules regarding eligibility. The main distinction between them is that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a type of insurance program that you pay into through deductions from your paycheck. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is based upon need, focusing on your income and assets.

Of course, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has also established specific criteria for SSDI beyond this main difference between the two programs. You can do a quick assessment of your own situation and determine basic eligibility by considering your answers to a few questions. While it is important to rely on a Maryland Social Security disability lawyer for details about your rights, this self-quiz on eligibility for SSDI should be useful.

Do you meet the medical requirement? You will qualify for SSDI if you suffer from an injury or illness that prevents you from working at a sufficient level to earn a living. Plus, your medical condition must be one that is expected to last at least 12 months, or which is terminal.

SSA uses a guide called the Listing of Impairments, also known as the Blue Book, that it uses to assess disabling medical conditions. 

Have you accumulated sufficient work credits? SSDI is like an insurance program in the sense that you pay premiums through deductions from your paycheck. You will see this information under the details on Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll taxes. When you pay the FICA tax for a quarter of work, you earn and accumulate work credits. To qualify for SSDI, you must have a certain number of work credits in your history, which is based upon age and when you performed the work.

Can you do other work? SSDI is intended for individuals who cannot work at a sufficient level to financially support themselves, and the monetary benefits provide essential support. Therefore, if you can do other tasks and earn an income, you could be disqualified from Social Security disability. SSA uses vocational experts to assess whether or not your job skills could transfer over into another position.

 Did you submit sufficient documentation regarding all criteria? SSA conducts a meticulous, exhaustive review of your documents, particularly your medical records. If you do not submit all paperwork officials need to evaluate your SSDI application, you could be denied. In addition, you should also make sure to provide new and updated medical records as necessary to support your application.

Discuss Eligibility with a Maryland SSDI Attorney Today

Your answers to these basic questions about SSDI eligibility are useful as a start, but you will need advice from a knowledgeable Social Security disability lawyer for details. To learn more about whether you qualify, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can schedule a free consultation at our Maryland offices in Glen Burnie, Owings Mills, Ellicott City, or Annapolis. After reviewing your circumstances, a member of our team can explain more about SSA rules.

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