Social Security Disability Waco

Understanding SSDI Eligibility: Medical, Work, and Legal Requirements

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits to people with disabilities who cannot work. However, determining eligibility can be complicated, as there are specific medical and work requirements that must be met in order to qualify. Here is an overview of the main SSDI eligibility criteria from a Social Security disability attorney.

Your Medical Condition

The most basic criterion for SSDI is having a medical condition that prevents you from working. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a detailed listing of impairments that are considered disabling. Your condition must match or be equivalent in severity to one of the listed impairments. Examples include certain cancers, neurological disorders, mental health conditions, and musculoskeletal or cardiac issues that limit function and activities.

Applying for Benefits

To start the application process, you’ll need to submit various forms to your local SSA office. This includes an adult disability report detailing your conditions, treatments, work history, and ability to handle daily activities. Your doctors will also submit medical evidence. A disability examiner and medical consultant will then determine if your case meets the SSA criteria.

Work Credits

In addition to having a qualifying medical condition, you must have earned a certain number of work credits in the years prior to becoming disabled. In 2024, you need 20 work credits out of the last 10 years. Younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. Self-employed workers have slightly different rules but also must demonstrate a recent enough work history.

Defining Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

If you are working after the onset of your disability, your monthly earnings must be below SGA limits. This ensures SSDI goes to those unable to engage in meaningful work activity. However, SSA does allow nine non-consecutive months where earnings can exceed SGA.

How a Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help with Your Application

Applying for SSDI involves extensive record gathering, following rules for submission, attending evaluations, and often appealing denials. An experienced Social Security disability attorney understands all aspects of the process and common reasons for denial. They can improve your chances of approval by ensuring completeness, meeting deadlines, presenting evidence effectively, and advocating for your unique situation.

Get a Free Case Evaluation from a Social Security Disability Attorney

If you have questions about your eligibility for SSDI benefits, contact Social Security disability attorney Merryl Jones – Second Chance Lawyer for a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.