Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

What is SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a disability benefit program run by the federal government. It was created to provide financial support to workers who are disabled and can no longer maintain steady employment. The Social Security Administration’s rules and regulations define what is and what is not a qualifying disability.

The program is funded by contributions from workers’ payroll deductions. The money collected from people throughout their working career is held in the Social Security Disability Trust Fund. Since all workers pay into the fund, all workers who earned enough employment credits may apply for SSDI if a disability causes them to be unable to engage in gainful employment.

What qualifies as a disability in SSDI?

To qualify for benefits under the SSDI program, an applicant’s disability must be a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, including an emotional or learning problem, that prevents the person from earning what the government defines as "substantial gainful employment." The disability must be one that has lasted for or is expected to last at least 12 months or is expected to result in the applicant’s death. This is the same standard used to qualify a disability under the Supplemental Security Income program.

There are hundreds of different illnesses, impairments, and conditions that can qualify you for SSDI benefits. Disabled applicants frequently suffer from more than one illness or condition at once. In cases where a particular impairment is not sufficiently disabling to qualify for benefits, the existence of another condition, complicating the impairment, can result in benefits being granted.

Because there are so many possible combinations of physical and mental conditions that may qualify for SSDI benefits, finding out if you are eligible can be confusing.

It is important to consult with a professional who knows Social Security Administration policies and procedures. A professional disability advocate or representative will strive to make sure your application is clear, complete, and supported by the medical evidence necessary to obtain a favorable decision as quickly as possible.

How is SSDI different from Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Unlike SSDI, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is intended only for disabled people with a low income and relative lack of financial resources who did not acquire the number of employment credits to become eligible for SSDI. It is a “means tested” program that pays a lower benefit than SSDI, but only to people whose monthly countable income does not exceed a low amount set by the government. The SSI program typically qualifies recipients for medical coverage under Medicaid unlike the SSDI plan where recipients gain access to Medicare.

Another noteworthy difference between the two programs is a waiting period. SSI does not have a waiting period before benefits are paid. When SSDI benefits are awarded, there is a five-month waiting period between the date your disability began and the time you receive your first payment.

During the long waiting period that delays the first payment from the SSDI, an applicant who needs financial support and has limited resources may qualify to receive SSI payments.

SSDI and SSI are each funded by different sources. SSDI is paid from the money held in the Social Security Disability Trust Fund which is replenished by payroll deductions from workers’ paychecks. The funding for SSI recipients comes from the general treasury of the federal government.

Do I need a Social Security Disability Professional to Apply for Benefits?

Like so many federal bureaucracies, there are volumes of rules and regulations that govern whether you will be awarded SSDI benefits. While you can file your own SSDI claim, a skilled, experienced professional who understands the process is an invaluable resource to have guiding and assisting you through the process.

Disability Help Today LLC connects you with professionals with knowledge of Social Security rules and procedures and experience assisting people with the preparation and filing of SSDI claims from application through appeal. Our clients come from every state in the U.S.

We recommend that you work with a Social Security advocate from the start of the process.

When you work with one of the disability professionals from our nationwide network, you pay no fee unless and until your SSDI claim is granted. In the meantime, the professional working with you will collect all your medical records and all the details about your past work history, your income, and all the facts describing your life with disability. Any disabled applicant who attempts to file a SSDI claim without professional help soon learns that the work of gathering, organizing, and submitting all the necessary information is an exhausting and frustrating task.

Hiring an experienced Social Security professional through Disability Help Today LLC helps you file a properly prepared and documented SSDI claim that may prevent it from delays caused by missing documents or a denial because your medical records were too disorganized. Every Social Security professional in our network works to complete every aspect of your application with a goal of obtaining your award decision as early as possible.

What happens if my SSDI claim is denied? – Appeal, Appeal, Appeal.

If your initial SSI claim is denied, don’t give up. A claim denial can be appealed within 60 days, and there are further levels of appeal and review available beyond that. The appeal process can succeed if an experienced lawyer or advocate compiles the right material, cites the right law, and presses the right arguments.

The quality, organization, completeness, and persuasiveness of your appeal documents often dictate what decision the judge issues.

As many as 65-70% of first-time applications are denied. There are dozens of grounds on which a claim can be denied. Claims are sometimes filed by people who simply don’t qualify. Other people intentionally file deceptive claims. SSDI claims are commonly denied at the initial stage because they are incomplete, missing key medical evidence to prove the disability, or are too ambiguous for the person evaluating it the basis for the claim.

Getting disability help from an experienced Social Security professional prevents needless delays and repetitive filings that so often occur when someone unfamiliar with the process compiles the documents. Experience is acquired through years of practice, handling different claims, and dealing with varying circumstances.



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