If you are living with a disability and want to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you should know that SSDI is difficult to get unless your condition is terminal or particularly severe. The application process is tedious, and one mistake could hinder the chances of your getting an approval.
The majority of SSDI claims are denied by the Social Security Administration, because they believe that the people applying can find at least some kind of work to support themselves. For example, if you lost a leg, the SSA might agree that you are disabled but also state that you should be able to work another job for enough income to survive, like if you could switch to a desk job.
You have to qualify with enough work credits
Even if you have a disability that could qualify for SSDI, you also have to show that you qualify based on your past work experience. The number of credits you’ll need to qualify to apply for SSDI depends on how old you are. The amount of money you need to earn will vary from year to year, too.
For example, in 2022, you get a single credit each time you earn $1,510 in wages. You can get up to four credits in a year, and you will generally need 40 credits to qualify for SSDI. For younger workers, the total needed may be lower.
Your disability has to qualify
Of course, there is also the matter of showing that you have a qualifying disability. There is a long, step-by-step process used by the SSA to determine when someone has a disability. You will need to provide significant evidence to support your claim.
You will need medical documentation, letters from people who know you, photos, imaging and many other supportive documents for your claim. Remember, if your average earnings are more than $1,350 ($2,260 if you have blindness), then you usually will not qualify for SSDI.
It’s sometimes hard to get the disability coverage you need. Learn more about your legal options first, and then consider building your case with the support of a skilled professional.