Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that helps people that aren’t working due to disabilities to support themselves financially. In order for one to qualify for SSDI benefits, one must have previously worked and paid social security taxes. If the claimant has never worked or paid social security taxes, then they will not be eligible for this benefit, regardless of their disability status.
If you have recently become disabled – or always have been but have been able to work – and now you want to apply for benefits, then you need to make sure that you apply properly, so as to avoid mistakes and errors. This article will tell you how you can do that:
If you intend on making an SSDI claim, then most experts recommend seeking legal aid. The reason for this is that by hiring a lawyer from the beginning, you will ensure that your claim is made properly and that there won’t be any problems with it, now or later. According to the best social security disability attorneys in Charlotte, Ayers and Whitlow, in order to have your claim accepted you need to have very specific medical documentation. Most physicians do not know how to prepare this documentation and evidence, which is where a lawyer comes in. An expert lawyer will be able to speak to your physician and explain to them what you need, then check everything over just to confirm everything is the way that it should be.
If you are attempting to make a claim on your own, there’s essentially no chance at all that you will be able to ensure that your doctor’s medical evidence is prepared properly. Only a lawyer can do this for you, which is why you should hire one to handle your claim for you. Additionally, a lawyer will be able to mount an appeal for you if your claim is denied.
SSDI and Medicare
It’s also worth knowing that SSDI is linked to Medicare. Once you have been in receipt of SSDI benefits for a minimum of two years, you will become eligible for Medicare. Ordinarily, one must be aged 65 and over to qualify, but as long as you have been in receipt of SSDI benefits for two years, your age does not matter.
Medicare is a type of federally-managed health insurance, available to seniors and the disabled. When you work, money is deducted from your salary and paid into your Medicare fund. If you aren’t able to continue working because of a disability, money will be taken from this fund to help cover your medical costs. There are different Medicare programs. Each program helps with a different aspect of your healthcare. They are:
- Medicare Part A helps to pay for medical care received in a hospital.
- Medicare Part B helps to pay for medical care received outside of a hospital, i.e. in your physician’s office.
- Medicare Part C which is also known as Medicare Advantage is a way to get A, B, and D coverage through private companies.
- Medicare Part B pays for prescription drugs.
As already mentioned, in order to qualify for SSDI you must have worked in the past but have become disabled and can no longer work. SSDI will pay for your monthly expenses and help you to maintain a comfortable quality of life. You must meet two basic requirements to qualify for SSDI benefits:
1. You must have worked long enough. As SSDI benefits require you to have previously worked and paid social security taxes, you need to have worked long enough in order to be covered. Unlike other forms of disability benefits, you do not need to prove financial need to qualify for SSDI – as long as you are eligible, regardless of financial status, you can get it.
2. You must be disabled. If you aren’t disabled, then there’s no way that you can qualify for this benefit. There are five different criteria that the SSA assesses in order to determine whether or not you are disabled. If you meet all five, you will be considered – in their eyes – disabled.
If you have never worked, then you will not be eligible for SSDI. With that said, there are a few alternative benefits for you to consider. These are:
1. You have not worked because of a childhood disability. If you became officially disabled prior to your 22nd birthday, you could qualify for Childhood Disability Benefits.
2. You are under 19. If your parent gets Social Security Retirement or Disability Insurance Benefits, you may also qualify for Childhood Disability Benefits or another similar benefit.
3. Your spouse qualifies for SSDI benefits or Social Security Retirement benefits. If your spouse does qualify, then you may be able to get these benefits also.
Applying for SSDI Benefits
The application process is quite straightforward, but that’s not to say that a lawyer’s help won’t be useful to you. In order to apply, you can either fill out an online form, which begins the application process immediately, or you can call Social Security and make an appointment over the phone to attend your local Social Security office and get your application started. With that said, because of COVID-19 and its impact in California, you may not be able to physically attend and the representative that you talk to over the phone might ask you to fill out an online form.
When applying, you need to include the names, addresses, and contact information of all of the treatment clinics, physicians, and hospitals that have treated you and provided you with healthcare services during your disability. You should also bring any records or certificates of your disability with you to prove your disability.
You will also need:
- Your social security number and your spouse’s social security number.
- A copy of your birth certificate.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency.
- A copy of your military discharge papers if you were in the military.
- Information on workers’ compensation you get or have gotten.
- A summary of all of your jobs over the past 15 years.
Once you have all of this information, you can go ahead and make your application.
Applying for SSDI benefits doesn’t need to be difficult. Make sure to take this article’s advice and enlist the help of a lawyer, who can manage and present your case in a way that ensures you do receive benefits, instead of having to worry about appealing and overturning a decision made against you.
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