The Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC regularly assists individuals throughout the Dallas-Forth Worth area who are seeking benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Because the qualifications for SSDI are strict, the majority of initial claims are denied. However, working with an experienced disability attorney increases the likelihood of having your claim approved.
Our practice is dedicated to helping disabled individuals in the Dallas-Forth Worth area obtain the benefits they deserve. When you become our client, we will help you navigate all aspects of the SSDI claims process, from applying to appealing. Please contact our El Paso office today to schedule a free consultation. You will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win benefits for you.
Qualifications for SSDI in Texas
Obviously, you must have a medical condition that prevents you from working to obtain SSDI, but you also must have worked for a certain number of years and paid into the Social Security system through income taxes. These so-called technical eligibility requirements involve “work credits” and “work tests.”
Work Credit Requirements
First, you must have acquired enough work credits, which are based on the number of years you have worked and your age. For each year that you work, you earn 4 work credits. You must acquire more credits as you age, however. For instance, a person who is 50 years old when the condition first presented must have accumulated 28 credits. This means that he or she has worked for at least seven years, however, five of those must have been within the last 10 years.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) also relies on a formula to convert your earnings into work credits: earnings of $1,300 equal one work credit, so to earn 4 credits for the year, you must have earned at least $5,200. While this is the minimal amount needed to qualify, your average earnings over your working years will weigh heavily in the amount of benefits you receive.
In addition to work credits, the SSA also relies on a “recent work” test and a “duration of work” test:
- Recent Work Test — Work credits must have been acquired during a certain time period. Applicants 31 or older must have worked 5 of the last 10 years, and earned at least 20 credits to qualify. Applicants between 24 and 31 must have worked at least half the time since turning 21. For instance, a 29-year old person must have worked at least four of the last eight years (earning at least 16 credits). Lastly, applicants under the age of 24 must have worked at least one-and-a half years in the three-year period before becoming disabled, or have earned 8 credits.
- Duration of Work Test — Under this test, you must have worked a certain number of years and acquired the related number of credits based on your age. As an example, individuals between 21 and 24 years of age must have acquired 6 work credits and worked at least 1.5 years. By contrast, those 62 and older must have acquired 40 work credits and worked at least 10 years.
Trust the Law Office of Carey Thompson to carefully review your history so that your application will not be rejected for technical reasons. In addition to meeting the above-referenced qualifications, your benefits claim and the related questionnaires must be completed accurately. Also, your application must include medical evidence that supports your claim.
Medical Eligibility Qualifications and Social Security Disability Benefits
To qualify for SSDI, you must have a disability: a physical or mental condition that (1) is expected to last at least one year or result in death and (2) prevents you from performing any substantial gainful activity (SGA), as that term is defined by the SSA.
Also, the SSA maintains a list of qualifying impairments known as the Blue Book. Generally, you qualify for benefits if your condition is listed, as long as you provide medical evidence. Finally, you may still be eligible if your condition is not listed if the SSA determines that your condition is medically equivalent to a listed condition. Our legal team will work closely with your doctor to compile the necessary evidence to help you meet the medical eligibility requirements for SSDI.
What happens if my benefits claim is approved?
If your claim for SSDI is approved, you will not receive benefits until you have been disabled for five full months. Given the time it takes to process a claim, you will likely be entitled to retroactive benefits once your claim is approved. Also, you can collect monthly benefits as long as you are unable to work; however, the SSA will conduct periodic reviews of your claim, every 3 to 7 years, to determine if you are still disabled.
Contact Our Experienced Dallas-Fort Worth SSDI Qualifications Attorneys
Obtaining benefits under the SSDI program may be challenging, but don’t let that stop you from contacting the Law Office of Carey Thompson. We have the skills and experience to help you navigate the claims process and the determination to win you the benefits you deserve. Please contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.