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An overview of eligibility requirements for SSDI benefits

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2017 | Qualifying For SSD/SSI Benefits

Many people in Ohio who suffer from a disabling injury or illness want to know if they can obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Questions of eligibility are often mixed with questions about the applications process. This post will summarize the general requirements and the steps necessary to qualify for SSD benefits.

To qualify for SSD benefits, a person must have worked in jobs covered by the Social Security Act and must have earned a minimum number of work credits. Four work credits are earned in every year in which a person earns more than $5,040. The number of necessary work credits depends upon the person’s age and years worked.

An applicant must be disabled, that is, unable to work, because of a disabling illness or injury. The disabling condition — either illness or injury — must be permanent or expected to result in death. A permanent condition is one that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months from the date of onset. The condition must prevent the claimant from performing the ordinary duties of his or her job or profession. The condition must be severe and must also prevent the claimant from being retrained for or adapting to another line of work.

The initial application can be filed either in person, by mail or on line at a nearby Social Security office. The determination of disability is often a complex evaluation of the claimant’s medical condition and the functional requirements of his or her job. As may be imagined, many claims are at first denied. The Social Security Act provides a four-step level of appeal from a denied claim, but this process can often appear to be baffling to the lay person. The assistance of an attorney who handles SSD claims can be helpful, especially if the initial claim is denied and an appeal is required to obtain a favorable decision.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Disability Planner: How You Qualify,” accessed on Feb. 27, 2017