In order to qualify, you have to have enough earned income credits. You earn four credits per year of work. The number of credits you need depends on how old you are. For instance, if you’re under 24 -years-old when you become disabled, you only need six credits (1.5 years of work). If you become disabled at age 52, you need 30 credits (7.5 working years).
Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability If I Have Not Worked Lately?
Social Security disability is like any other insurance. If you haven’t worked for a number of years, your coverage may lapse. Generally speaking, for those over age 31, you must have worked five of the last 10 years. There are exceptions, for instance, if onset of your disability was at an early age. You must meet the “recent work” and “duration of work” tests to qualify for SSDI.
This hardly seems fair, but nothing about insurance is fair. For instance, if you’ve worked hard until you are age 40, then take off work to raise a child and become disabled at age 51, you may not qualify. You will then have to apply for SSI, which strictly limits the assets you can have. Your best option in the above scenario is to speak with a knowledgeable Social Security disability lawyer.
Social Security Disabilities
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have a mental or physical disability which prevents you from working. There’s a long list of disabilities that qualify, which you can access on the Social Security Administration website. A few of the qualifying disabilities are:
- Heart failure
- Liver disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Kidney failure
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Carpal tunnel
The above list is by no means all-inclusive but is meant to demonstrate the variety of disorders that can qualify for SSDI. However, in addition to having one of the above disorders, you have to provide documentation to prove that you are disabled and that you cannot work because of your disability.
Can I Work While on Social Security Disability?
You can only work at a job making less than $1,130 per month, $1,830 if you’re blind. However, if your condition improves and you want to go back to work, you can continue to receive SSDI for nine months, no matter how much money you make. This is to allow you to test your ability to work without losing the lifeline which your benefits provide.
After you return to work, the Social Security Administration will allow five years to go back on benefits if you need to, for instance, if your cancer returns. You don’t have to reapply to get your benefits turned back on.
Applying for Social Security Disability
Applying for SSDI is a job in itself. You have to provide proof that your condition is disabling and that it will last for a year or more or that you are dying. It’s all about the paperwork you amass. You need medical records, including recent, and a written prognosis by a physician that you are unable to work and that you won’t be able to work for at least a year.
You need to have not worked for five months, and you may need to not collect unemployment benefits during this time, since collecting unemployment theoretically means you are looking for work. Your doctor must state in writing that you cannot do any kind of work.
After you submit your initial Social Security disability application form, they will send you another packet of forms to complete. When they send you more forms to fill out, you must re-submit copies of your medical records. Do not submit original records unless you have to and, if so, make copies. You cannot rely on the bureaucratic process to retain and submit records for you. It’s like defensive driving. You have to anticipate mistakes others could make, and be prepared with more copies of your documents to back up your claim.
Do not count on your claim being approved. Almost two-thirds of claims are denied. You must be prepared to appeal your denial rapidly: the deadline is 60 days.
An Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer Will Help Immensely
While SSDI is a very good lifeline when you’re ill or disabled, getting your claim approved can be challenging, especially when you have no experience with these complex matters. It would be a smart move to call Isaacs & Isaacs, and talk to an experienced disability attorney before you begin this process.
Having an attorney in your corner who has experience in filing claims for SSDI and in appealing claims that have been denied will vastly improve your chances. Your attorney can
- Monitor the process
- Make sure you submit sufficient proof of disability
- Make sure that you don’t miss an important deadline
Your attorney would know exactly what to say to your physician(s) about needed documentation.
Finally, if your Social Security disability claim has already been denied, having an attorney at your side when you appear at a hearing before an administrative law judge can greatly improve the likelihood of winning your claim. If you’re disabled and counting on this money to make it through, you don’t want to handle the claim process without professional help.
Isaacs & Isaacs Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help You Win
Isaacs & Isaacs dedicated and experienced disability lawyers want to see disabled folks get their money. We know how difficult it is to get disability, especially when you have no experience with the complex filing process, and you’re struggling with a disability or serious illness. We believe in leveling the playing field so that those who need help won’t get denied because they are no match for the Social Security Administration bureaucracy, due to inexperience and illness.
We work on a contingency fee basis. We collect our fee out of your Social Security disability back pay, so we don’t get paid until and unless we get you your money. We’re on call around-the-clock to help you through this crisis. Call 800-800-8888 now or fill out our online form to consult with an experienced Isaacs & Isaacs SSDI lawyer.