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What Is SSDI – Social Security Disability Insurance?

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SSDI, which is also called Social Security Disability Insurance, is a government program that gives disabled American workers a monthly income. When you suffer from an illness or injury that leaves you unable to work, finding the money to care for your family and pay your bills is difficult. Disability insurance benefits are one of the most common ways for people in this situation to get a steady income even though they have a health condition that makes it impossible for them to work. If you need help understanding your eligibility, filing an SSDI application in North Carolina , or navigating the appeals process, Lunn & Forro, PLLC, can help. Our Raleigh disability lawyers have the experience, skill, and resources necessary to help you get the benefits you deserve. Call 888-966-6566 to schedule a time to talk with a Social Security disability attorney today.

What is SSDI worth?

SSDI pays out benefits to people who paid into Social Security during their career but are now unable to work. Unlike the VA, which pays a set amount based on your rating percentage, the amount of the SSDI payment is different for everyone. When someone is approved for SSDI, they get a monthly payment based on how much money they have made in the past. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of this federal program and sets the rules for who can qualify for disability benefits.

A person is considered disabled if he or she gets sick or hurt and is left with a disability that keeps them from being able to work. Typically, these illnesses or injuries are serious in nature, and will either result in death in the coming months or continue to cause a significant impairment for the foreseeable future.

What other benefits can I get with SSDI?

If you are eligible for SSDI, you will also get Medicare in addition to the money you get each month, after the Medicare waiting period has passed. If you have federal student loan debt, you may be eligible to have the loan forgiven. Many states have programs for disabled individuals to reduce or eliminate their property taxes. Disabled individuals in North Carolina with low household income do pay reduced real property tax. 

In some cases you may also qualify for both SSDI and SSI benefits.

Can you receive SSDI if you have not worked in a long time?

In order to be eligible for SSDI payments, you must have worked and paid into Social Security recently enough, and for a long enough period of time, to be “insured” for benefits. If you are not covered for SSDI you may still qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits.

What conditions automatically qualify you for disability?

You can receive SSDI through the Compassionate Allowance program which fast tracks claims for individuals with serious, debilitating medical conditions.

How do I qualify for SSDI?

Applying for and receiving SSDI benefits is notoriously difficult. The qualifications for receiving SSDI payments are difficult to meet and even harder to prove. They include: Having the minimum number of Social Security credits based on your work history Demonstrating you are unable to engage in “substantial gainful activity” (e.g., you are unable to make more than a set amount, $1,470 for non-blind individuals in 2023 – due to your health) Meeting the SSA’s definition of “disabled” based on your medical records Having an impairment that has lasted or is expected to last a year or more or result in death

How can I prove I qualify?

Most of the time, the hardest part of getting disability benefits is showing that you are disabled in the way that the Social Security Administration says you are. The SSA outlines its standards in a publication known as “the Blue Book.” This book of impairment listings includes many conditions that the SSA deems potentially disabling. To receive approval for your SSDI claim, your medical records must show you have a condition listed in this book (and meet its severity requirements) or one that is so severe it impairs your ability to work to a degree that you are unable to work.

Many people apply without knowing exactly what the SSA requires to prove impairment, or exactly what their medical records say about their condition and disability. We encourage all our clients to obtain a copy of their medical records so we can compare their diagnosis and prognosis with the impairment listings from the SSA. If the documentation is lacking, we have a network of trusted doctors and specialists who can often help our clients get proper documentation of the diagnosis.

How can I apply for SSDI benefits?

Applying for Social Security benefits is not difficult. You can apply online, over the phone at 1-800-772-1213, or make an appointment to apply in person at your local Social Security Office.

Before you submit your claim, however, it is paramount you have all of the necessary information for the application, including your medical provider’s contact information and a list of your medications. Not having the proper documentation to submit will delay your claim and lack of consistent medical treatment is one of the most common causes of denial.

What can I expect from the SSDI appeals process?

Denials are much more common than approvals for an initial claim. If you do receive a letter of denial, do not panic. It does not mean the end of the process for you. If we are not working with you on your claim, give us a call as soon as possible after you receive a letter of denial. You will need someone with the resources necessary to navigate the appeals process for you and to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.

You have 60 days to request reconsideration after receiving a denial letter. We can help the SSA gather the evidence it needs. In many cases, this initial appeal does not get the desired result, but it is a necessary step.

The next step in the appeals process is a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). It is usually during this hearing that we can make the biggest difference for clients. We focus on collecting evidence and building a strong case for approval during this time. By convincing the judge that our client is unable to work we get our clients the approval they deserve. Once the SSA approves you for benefits, you may also receive back pay covering the months between your initial application and when you gained approval.

Lunn & Forro, PLLC: Your Social Security Disability Insurance Attorneys

The Social Security Disability lawyers at Lunn & Forro, PLLC work with people just like you to ensure they receive the benefits they need and deserve. The SSDI qualification and application process does not have to be confusing and frustrating. Let us use our experience, skills, and resources to help you get the monthly benefits you need. Call our office today at 888-966-6566 to schedule a time to talk to a Social Security Disability lawyer or use our online Free Case Evaluation to have an attorney review your case.

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Established in 2011, Lunn & Forro, PLLC, is a client-focused firm recognized for excellence in providing top-level legal services. We assist the sick, injured and disabled in obtaining the benefits that they are entitled to receive.

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