05 May What is SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program for those who are unable to work due to a mental and/or physical condition. SSDI is a benefits program that is mandated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA has a criteria that a disabled worker must meet in order to qualify for benefits.
The SSDI Qualifications
The SSA has strict requirements that one must meet in order to qualify for SSDI. To qualification for SSDI all claimants:
Must have doctor evaluations proving medical disability.
Expect to be out of work for at least 12 months due to disability.
Can not be earning more than $1,350 per month.
Must have worked 5 out of the last 10 years.
Must have paid into the social security system during those 5-10 years.
Although each disabled worker must meet the same criteria to qualify for benefits, the amount received varies from person to person. SSDI benefits are dependent on prior earnings and work credits. They are not dependant on the severity of your injury.
Since the SSA bases your SSDI benefits on your earnings throughout your life, it is unlikely that you can increase the amount you recieve.
Calculating Benefits Based on Work Credits
To be eligible for SSDI you need to have a certain amount of work credits. To calculate work credits, the SSA looks to your earnings.
For 2021, 1 work credit is equal to $1,470. The maximum work credits earnable in a year is 4 which is equal to $5,880.
The general rule for SSDI benefits is that you need 40 credits to qualify. 20 of those 40 credits should be earned in the 10 years prior to you applying for SSDI benefits.
How Age Impacts Benefits
Younger workers may need less credits to qualify for SSDI. However, the older you are, the more work credits are required for your eligibility.
According to the Social Security Administration, your full retirement age (FRA) would be 66 years and 10 months if you were born in 1959. If you were born in 1960 and any year after, your FRA would be 67 years old.
Depending on whatever age your FRA is, this is where you will be able to receive the full benefit amount that you are qualified for. The earliest you can start receiving Social Security benefits is age 62, but your benefits will not be the full amount since it is not your FRA.
Improving Your Chances of Winning a Claim
Hiring legal representation can increase your chances of having a successful claim. Statistics show that by hiring an attorney you are three times more likely to win your claim.
An attorney has the legal knowledge and courtroom experience that can give you the best chance for winning your case. You do not owe the attorney anything unless they win your claim for you. The limit for how much you will have to pay if your case does win is 25% of your backpay, or $6,000. (Whichever amount is lower)
If you are interested in filing a claim for SSDI benefits, fill out our free form here.