A disability can wreak financial havoc in your life. Luckily, there are social programs available that can help you cover the gap between your savings or other sources of income and your inability to work due to disability. The SSDI program is managed by the SSA and offers benefits funded by employees’ Social Security taxes. However, the road to receiving benefits can be long and complicated. Working with an Orange County SSDI attorney can help.
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SSDI is not funded by general taxes. When you work and pay taxes, a small portion goes to the Social Security Administration. That money then funds your retirement down the road. If you have a qualifying disability and enough work credits, you can begin receiving that money earlier. Since you are essentially collecting your own money that you have paid in, you do not have to display financial need to qualify for benefits.
There are two parts to qualifying for SSD benefits. The first is your disability. The disability must keep you from working and be expected either to last at least one year or result in your death. There are several ways to prove a disability. Your diagnosis might be listed in the Listing of Impairments, and if it is, you simply have to meet the qualifications listed there. If you can’t go that route, you can prove the extent of your disability and the limitations it places on your work.
The other way you must qualify is via your work history. SSDI requires that you have a certain number of work credits. You can only earn four credits per year, and you earn one credit by earning a specific amount of money. Most applicants must have a total of 40 credits and at least 20 credits from the 10 years prior to the disability. However, younger applicants have lower credit requirements, so it’s worth talking to a disability attorney about your case.
The program may sound straightforward, so you may wonder why you would need an attorney. While the process is fairly simple, getting approved is not. Less than half of all applicants are approved on the first try, which can be very frustrating. Most applicants don’t realize just how much proof the SSA wants to see before they approve you for benefits, which often leads to a rejection. The good news is that there are several rounds of appeals that you can go through if you think you deserve benefits. Working with an attorney right away can help you provide the necessary evidence from the beginning, possibly saving you time and allowing you to start receiving benefits sooner.
If you want to start applying for SSD benefits or handle the appeal process after a rejection, let’s find an attorney to help you. Our list of Orange County SSDI attorney is your next stop.