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SSDI Eligibility – Do You Qualify for Benefits?

Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014
Blog, Social Security Disability

According to information from the Social Security Administration, a 20-year-old worker has a one in four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. Because of this, understanding how SSDI eligibility is determined is important knowledge to have.

SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance and as its name states: it is an insurance program. You pay for this insurance through work, so it stands to reason that you must have a work history in order to qualify. Eligibility depends largely on how much of a work history you have.

One of the tests used to determine SSDI eligibility is the Duration of Work test. While the other eligibility test — Recent Work — bases your eligibility on how many quarters you’ve recently worked, the Duration of Work test calculates the overall years you’ve worked, and that work doesn’t have to be recent. For example, if you become disabled before the age of 28, the amount of years that you must have worked to qualify under this test is 1.5. If you become disabled at age 46, you would have to have worked 6 years under the Duration of Work guidelines.

While most people are required to meet the requirements for both the Recent Work and the Duration of Work tests, and therefore have an established history of both years worked and recent time spent on the job, some workers — including blind workers — only have to qualify under the Duration of Work requirements.

Determining if you are eligible and applying for SSDI benefits can be complex. An attorney from DDB Law can help. For more information, contact us.

SSDI Appeals: What You Need to Know If You’ve Been Denied

Posted on Friday, July 18, 2014
Blog, Social Security Disability

Has your social security disability insurance claim been denied? The majority of initial claims are denied, particularly those that are filed by individuals on their own without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. Usually, claims are denied due to lack of proof of total disability and the inability to be gainfully employed.

After a denial, the SSDI appeals begins. According to the Social Security Administration, there are four possible steps to the appeals process, which must be done in order. They include: a request for reconsideration, which must be filed within a tight deadline following your denial and includes a medical review of your case by someone other than the person who initially denied your claim; a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, which must be done within 60 days of your denial; an Appeals Council Review; or with a District Court Case, which must be handled by an attorney.

Because there are time limits in all steps of the SSDI appeals process, you must act quickly in order to have the Social Security Administration take a second look at your claim. Hiring an attorney experienced with the process is advisable regardless of which step you are on because they are able to help you understand why the application was denied and to gather the medical documentation that will be necessary for the appeal. Most of our clients receive a favorable resolution during the Administrative Law Judge phase.

While you shouldn’t despair receiving a denial of your initial application, you should understand that the appeals process takes time. For more information on the process or to speak to an attorney about the denial of your claim, contact us.

What Are the Standards for Determining Social Security Disability?

Posted on Monday, April 28, 2014
Blog, Social Security Disability

If you’re planning to apply for social security disability, your application will be considered based on several different standards. Perhaps the most basic is: Are you able to work? The Social Security Administration allows for a minimal amount of earnings, but generally, if you make over a set threshold amount that changes each year, your application will be denied.

The Social Security Administration will also want to know how long you’ve been unable to work. If your condition renders you unable to perform basic tasks for more than a year, then the agency will consider other factors. If the condition is not severe enough to have significantly limited your abilities, then you will likely not be considered disabled.

In addition, the Social Security Administration will consider whether or not you’re able to do a different type of work than what you’ve previously done. Even if you’re unable to do the job you were doing before, the agency will evaluate your medical condition, past work experience, age and education. Your application for disability will only be approved if it is determined that you could not adjust to new work.

Also, the agency will check to see if your condition is on its accepted list of impairments or equals in severity one of the impairments on the list. If not, the agency will use other factors to determine your eligibility for benefits.

The administration generally takes three to five months to determine eligibility. If your application is denied, you will have the opportunity to appeal. If you are planning to apply for social security disability or you have been denied benefits and would like to appeal, DDB Law can help. Contact us for more information and get one of our ssdi attorneys on your case today .


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