Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a government program that helps people who can no longer work because of disability or illness. People who are qualified for SSDI can receive supplemental income. However, applying for SSDI isn’t a walk in the park.
Not just anyone can apply for SSDI. Applicants must meet a few criteria before they receive SSDI benefits. Here’s what you should know:
Is your medical condition disabling?
For starters, an applicant must have a medical condition, injury or illness that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). Partial and short-term disabilities typically do not qualify someone for SSDI benefits.
A qualifying disability means a medical condition is expected to last more than a year (or end in death) and makes it harder for someone to adjust to a new or previously held job. For example, someone who is suffering from cancer may apply for SSDI if the disease weakens them and they require assistance with basic living.
Because illness and medical conditions can affect people in many different ways, applicants may need to acquire enough evidence of their condition. Applicants may get medical records and letters from their doctors that show how a condition affects an applicant and their inability to work.
How much are you working?
There are many jobs available for people who receive or need SSDI benefits. Applicants are limited to how much they earn each year, however. For 2023, an applicant may be eligible for SSDI if they are disabled and making under $1,470 a month. People who are blind can earn $2,460 a month and still receive SSDI benefits.
SSDI helps millions of people. Because the application process is often confusing and people are often unsure if their medical conditions qualify, many people don’t get the help they need. Applicants should learn more about their legal options when applying for SSDI or appealing a denial.