Being approved for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits can be difficult. You first have to show you have worked long enough to qualify for benefits. This means you need at least 40 work credits, which are earned as you work. In 2019 the formula is that for every $1,360.00 made a worker earns one credit. Additionally, 20 of the required credits must have been earned in the last 10 years. After you have enough credits the next hurdle is to prove you are disabled, and that your disability significantly limits your ability to perform any substantial work activity. Once you have the evidence to establish these things, you will be ready to apply for benefits.
Most people think their job is done after being approved for SSDI benefits, but the truth is the Social Security Administration (SSA) has the ability to conduct follow up reviews to make sure you still qualify. In order to meet this ongoing standard it is important to do the following:
- Visit your doctor regularly. This is not to say you cannot cancel an appointment if you have a change in your schedule, but you should plan on rescheduling any missed appointments so there is an ongoing medical record of your condition.
- Avoid working, altogether if possible but if you do go back to work while on disability you will need to be careful to make sure the scope or duration do not put your benefits at risk. A qualified disability attorney can go over this with you and give more guidance if you fall into this category.
The chances of becoming disabled may be greater than you think, so it is important to know what you can and cannot do if you need to file for benefits. Remember that the key to being approved for benefits is all in the proof. You have to have reliable medical evidence that you are disabled, and that evidence needs to contain information describing how your disability impacts your ability to work. It is not enough to claim you have depression or suffer from anxiety, you must also be unable to work because of those conditions. The same is true for a physical condition, because in the eyes of the SSA there may still be some job duties you can perform while suffering from a mental or physical illness. For more information about the complexities of applying for, and being granted SSDI benefits, call us today. One of our disability attorneys will answer your questions and let you know what to expect during the process.