Social Security members, who sustain permanent disabilities, whether this injury is work-related, may be entitled to receive cash benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Social Security members refer to anyone 65 years old or below, who has:
Worked long enough or recently enough in a job covered by Social Security or who is self-employed; and,
Earned the required number of credits required by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Employees earn four credits in a year. These credits can be earned through monthly payment of Social Security taxes (identified as “FICA” Federal Insurance Contributions Act in employees’ pay slips).
Permanent disability, on the other hand, refers to any condition:
- That renders a person unable to perform the work that he/she did before being disabled and which renders him/her incapable of performing any other type of work; and,
- May either last for at least a year or result in death.
The SSA has made a list of disabilities and medical conditions which it considers too severe. If a person’s condition is found in this list and if he/she meets the other criteria listed above, then he/she would most likely qualify as a recipient of SSDI cash benefits.
It will have to be understood by an employee, however, that, despite having been approved to receive the cash benefits or if he/she is already receiving payments, this can stop if:
If the SSA decides that his/her medical condition has improved to a point that he/she can be considered as no longer disabled or he/she works at a level that the SSA considers as “substantial”; or,
If he/she turns 65 – if this is the case, recipient will continue receiving the same amount of payment, only this time, it will no longer be in the form of disability benefit but in the form of pension.
As explained by the Hankey Law Office, however, despite how much those who have developed an unexpected physical or mental disability rely on Social Security Disability benefits, many of them find the application process overly complex; worse, many more are denied in their application on their first attempt.
Whether in preparing all the required documents, in filing their application or in making an appeal, a highly-competent SSDI lawyer may be able to help. It is not enough to be eligible for the benefits; everything will also need to be done correctly – something that can be better accomplished through the assistance of a legal professional.