How Do I Know if I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance you must fit certain criteria. This includes the condition that yu must be completely disabled according to the Social Security Administrations definition. It is also a requirement that you have worked and paid Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) premiums whiile you were working. In most cases if you have worked for an outside employer in the United States, then you have made contributions to FICA, as has your employer.
To qualify for the Social Security Association’s definition of complete disability, you must be unable to work in any job which you have previously worked, this includes being unable to perform the work of your current and previous job, and also means that you are unable to adjust to other work that is currently available for a person of your mental and physical abilities, as well as your current level of education and experience.
For FICA requirements most people will need to have worked for at least five of the last ten years in order to be insured under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The exact requirements vary and depend on your age. The most restrictive age group is the 30s and 40s.
The first step in qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefit is to make your intent to apply known to the Social Security Associations office. Even if you are not yet certain that you will apply for these benefits, you should visit your local SSA office and inform them of your intent to apply, as this will establishe a protected filing date. In the event that you are granted disability benefit after applying, this date will be the date that your back pay will be calculated on.
Now, proving your contributions to FICA is in general the easy part. As a lot of the paperwork relies on your previous or current employers, most of this will already be done for you. Proving your complete disability however, is not so easy. The system is designed to help those who truly need it and to weed out those applicants who do not. A knock on effect of this system means that many applicants who should qualify for Social Security Disability Benefit are initially denied and have their claims rejected. Medical evidence is essential for complete disability to be proven.
If you are serious about applying for Social Security Disability Benefit, then you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer or advocate as representation for yourself. While it is completely within your rights to represent yourself and there are no requirements to hire a lawyer, a qualified representative can make the process go much faster and easier by having inside knowledge of the system, and also knowing how best to represent you both in writing and if necessary before a judge at an appeal hearing.
If you need help with your Social Security Disability claim, contact the Professional Social Security Disability Lawyers at Bill Hotz and Associates today! Call 865-637-9000 or contact us online