When you are unable to work because of an injury or illness, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, navigating the disability claims process with SSA can be overwhelming and complicated. Many of the applications for SSDI and SSI benefits are denied at the initial application phase. Hiring an experienced Texas Disability benefits lawyer to help you file your SSA disability claim can help you avoid some of the mistakes that can cause your disability claim to be denied. In addition, allowing an attorney to handle your claim can reduce the stress and anxiety you experience as you fight for your right to receive Social Security disability benefits.
What are SSDI and SSI and Do I Qualify?
There are two SSA disability programs for individuals with a disability — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI and SSI both have non-medical and medical requirements. Both programs require that an applicant meets or exceeds the Social Security’s definition of disabled to qualify for benefits under either program.
Medical Requirements for SSI or SSDI
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a strict and narrow definition of disabled. An applicant’s illness or condition must meet or exceed this definition for the applicant to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. For many illnesses and conditions, the SSA has issued specific guidelines outlining the medical requirements for meeting the definition of disabled for those specific conditions or illnesses.
However, all applicants must meet the basic definition of disability:
- Your physical or mental impairment must prevent you from engaging in a substantial gainful activity (work);
- The impairment must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death; and,
- Your physical or mental illness or condition must be medically determinable.
Substantial gainful activity (SGA) means that you can work to provide a basic level of income to support yourself. Medically determinable means that you can provide medical and/or laboratory diagnostic evidence of the severity of your illness or condition.
Non-Medical Requirements for SSDI and SSI
In addition to the medical requirements, you must also meet the non-medical or financial requirements to receive Social Security disability benefits. For SSDI, you must have worked and paid into the Social Security program for a certain period. The number of work credits you must have earned to be eligible for SSDI is based on several factors. Calculating your work credits correctly is a crucial factor when applying for SSDI. Our Texas Disability benefits lawyer can help ensure you are given the credit you deserve for the years you have worked and paid into the SSA system.
SSI is not dependent on your work history. However, there are income, resources, and asset limitations for the SSI program. If you exceed the financial restrictions, your application for SSI will be denied. Again, an attorney can help you ensure that the SSA is not counting income or resources that are exempt when determining your eligibility for SSI.
Contact a Texas Disability Benefits Lawyer for Help
It is important that the information you submit to the SSA with your disability application is accurate and complete. A simple mistake in your application can result in a denial of your disability claim. Contact the Law Office of Carey Thompson today to schedule a time to discuss your disability benefits needs. Our Texas Disability benefits attorneys can help you determine if you qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits and assist you in preparing and filing your application for Social Security disability benefits.