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Archive for January, 2023

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Posted on: January 24th, 2023 by Joe Cunnane

When you are unable to work due to a disability, one of the first things you must do is file for disability compensation. If you have a disability at work, this will most likely be your first option. However, if you have been out of work for a significant period of time and no longer have disability insurance, you have another alternative. If you have a work record, you may be eligible for SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance.

Disability Insurance Through Social Security

What is Social Security Disability Insurance? - Cunnane Law, Edmonds, WA

Social Security Disability Insurance may be helpful for you. Talk to us about how to file an SSDI claim.

Individuals with a work history and enough credits earned through employment are eligible for this program. It is funded by the same scheme that provides retirement benefits to older employees who have retired. SSDI pays a monthly benefit to people who are unable to work because of a disabling or long-term medical condition.

To be eligible, you must have made SSDI contributions through payroll tax deductions from Social Security-covered employment. To qualify, you must have worked recently and for a sufficient length of time.

How to Apply for SSDI

A person seeking SSDI must be unable to work because of their disability. The term “disability” is narrowly defined by Social Security. The applicant’s medical condition (mental or physical) must be expected to persist at least one year or result in death. SSDI is not designed to cover temporary or partial disability.

SSDI eligibility is based on a person’s work history, and the monthly payment is calculated on average lifetime earnings from Social Security-covered employment.

Recipients must be U.S. citizens or have lawful alien status if born outside of the United States.

Submitting an Application

Before you begin your application, you’ll need to acquire several documents. Such as:

  • Your Social Security Card
  • Your health care providers contact information, including any doctors, as well as the dates of your appointments
  • Records of treatment
  • List of all medications names and dosages
  • All laboratory and diagnostic tests results
  • If you were self-employed, your most recent W2 form, or last year’s tax return
  • Bank account information
  • Your marriage certificate or other proof of marriage, if your spouse also qualifies
  • Social Security numbers and proof of age for all family member who also qualify for benefits

Because getting benefits takes time, you should apply as soon as you become disabled.

You should see your doctor before making your SSDI claim and explain your plans. If your doctor does not agree that you are disabled, their opinion could jeopardize your claim. And if this is the case, you should look for another doctor or medical practitioner who does agree.

If your doctor does agree, you must follow their medical recommendations. Failure to keep planned appointments and follow treatment instructions may make your claim appear fraudulent.

Many SSDI applications are denied on the first attempt. It is critical that you appeal this decision so that you do not lose your right to do so.

Working with a disability lawyer who understands SSDI and how to properly complete an application is a wise decision. You’ll have a better probability of being approved on your first application or on appeal.

Cunnane Law can assist you with your Social Security Disability Insurance claim

Cunnane Law does not handle SSDI cases. However, we work with several SSDI attorneys in the community. We handle Long Term Disability cases which are different from SSDI cases. The legal work we do for our LTD clients, in most cases can be used for your SSDI claim. Contact us today to set up your complimentary consultation.


Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.