January 18, 2020

What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability (SSDI) Overview

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI as it is more commonly referred to, is a federal government insurance program and payroll-tax funded program of the US Government and is managed by the US Social Security Administration. This is a financial assistance venue which is available to individuals who can no longer work due to a medical condition or disease which has rendered them incapable of doing so. It was designed to provide and/or replace lost income to those individuals who are deemed as being disabled.

SSDI can be paid as long as your medical condition exists or until the time you pass away, provided that your condition has been diagnosed as terminal. SSDI is also viewed as a social insurance program whose benefits are granted after an application process that is oftentimes quite lengthy in duration. There other considerations that you need to be aware of as well.

First and foremost, the burden of proof always falls on the applicant/claimant. Secondly, it is contrasted with SSI (Supplemental Security Income) which is a form of welfare or SSA needs based program. SSI was primarily designed to assist those individuals who fall under the poverty levels for finances and resources. This is in addition to any medical disability. Occasionally, those individuals applying for SSDI are oftentimes advised to apply for SSI as well should they not qualify for the one they are initially applying for.

Qualification for SSDI benefits is usually determined by the SSA and requires that you have been labeled as being “disabled” according to the SSA definition of the word. In most instances, you will qualify for benefits provided you meet the following requirements:

  • you are under the age of 65
  • you have a mental or physical condition which has rendered you incapable of working or engaging in what is referred to as “SGA” or Substantial Gainful Activity
  • your mental or physical condition is expected to last the next 12 consecutive months and/or you have been diagnosed as being terminally ill
  • you have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years

If you have been disabled since the age of 22 or before, the work requirement listed above is normally waived since the disabled individual may have been allowed to collect by virtue of their parent’s work credits. The parents not usually experience any loss of benefits. Additionally, the medical evidence provided for your case in order to document your claim must list lab findings, signs, and symbols associated with your condition.