Government benefit programs can be a real mystery to most people. Since you might need those programs at some point in your life, it’s a great idea to learn a little more about them. That’s why we have put together this list of five fast facts about SSDI.
Fast Fact #1: SSDI Is Run by the Same Agency that Pays Social Security Retirement.
Most people probably think of the Social Security Administration (“Social Security”) when they think of retirement benefits. However, Social Security runs a number of other programs, including two for disabled workers and their families: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Each of these programs includes additional programs. For example, the Ticket to Work program offered by SSDI helps disabled workers return to work if possible.
Fast Fact #2: The Majority of First-Time Claims Are Denied.
Only about 35% of applicants are awarded SSDI benefits. Some are allowed benefits at the initial application. However, others may only start receiving benefits after asking for a reconsideration of their request or appealing to an administrative law judge.
If your claim has been denied, call us to discuss asking for a reconsideration of your denial.
Fast Fact #3: SSDI Benefits Depend on Work Credits.
Two of the primary factors that affect whether you are qualified or not are:
- Having a disabling condition that prevents you from substantial gainful activity; and
- Having enough work credits.
Work credits are another area that most people find confusing. Every year, workers can earn up to four work credits based on how much they have earned. In 2020, you will receive a work credit for each $1,410 of earnings, but work credits are capped at four.
Fast Fact #4: You Can Get Compassionate Allowance Benefits for Some Disorders.
Some conditions almost immediately qualify for SSDI benefits. That’s because these conditions “by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.”
Here’s a list of just a few of the diseases that appear on the compassionate allowances list:
- Acute leukemia
- Child lymphoma
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s
- Heart transplant waitlist
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Multiple system atrophy
- Pleural mesothelioma
- Thyroid cancer
Many types of cancer appear on the list also. The compassionate allowance program helps people get the benefits they need more quickly.
Fast Fact #5: SSDI is Not the Same as SSI.
Although it is easy to confuse the two, SSDI and SSI are completely different programs. One of the primary differences is the way people qualify.
- SSDI: Applicants need to have accumulated work credits. Income and resources do not affect benefits.
- SSI: Work history and work credits do not matter. However, as a needs-based program, income and resources can keep someone from qualifying.
The best way to clear up the confusion may be to discuss your situation with an experienced disability attorney.
Learn More About SSDI – and Whether You Should Apply
Applying for any government benefit can be frustrating and SSDI is no exception. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.