In the event of an illness or injury which prevents you from continuing to be gainfully employed, you may apply for SSDI.
If your claim for SSDI is granted, your monthly benefit is based on the amount of contributions you paid into SSDI while you were working.
In order to qualify for SSDI payments, the disabling condition must be expected to last for at least a year, or be expected to result in death.
SSDI doesn't provide benefits for disabilities that are expected to last less than one year and the claimant must have been disabled for a minimum of five months before they can receive benefits.
The Social Security Administration has an official List of Impairments considered so serious as to be permanently disabling.
If your condition is on this list, your odds are in favor of being granted SSDI.
If it isn't on the list, your medical condition will be reviewed to determine if it is of equal severity to the impairments listed.
If alcoholism or drug addiction is significantly contributing to your inability to work, you may be disqualified from receiving SSDI benefits.
Your claim must be accompanied by a significant amount of documentation, including your Social Security card, documentation of your work history, proof of income, payroll contributions to SSDI, and medical evidence that proves your inability to work.
Once you submit your claim, your case is reviewed by the State Disability Determination Services (SSDS) in your area.
You may be asked to see another doctor to assess your condition.
If it's decided that you're unable to work in your former area of employment, it will be determined if there's another job you can do instead.
If you're able to work in another field of employment, your claim will be denied based on the fact that you should be able to find work in a venue other than the one in which you were formerly employed.
Because of the increase in the amount of claims and budget cuts to the division that have led to staffing decreases, SDDS has a considerable backlog of claims.
It can take anywhere from ninety days to eight months to review your initial claim.
Sometimes the claim center will ask for additional documentation, or as noted before, they will require you to see another doctor for an additional assessment of your medical condition.
If your claim for SSDI is denied, you may ask for an appeal.
It can take anywhere from ninety days to over a year to go through the appeal process.
If your claim is approved for SSDI, you'll receive a monthly check based on the amount paid into the system during your years of employment.
If you have dependent children, they might also qualify to receive payments.
You and your dependent children may also qualify for Medicaid which would cover your medical expenses.
All in all, applying and qualifying for SSDI is usually a lengthy and arduous process, but the benefits are well worth the effort.