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Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”)

Whenever someone gets a paycheck, taxes are taken out. This includes the taxes that everyone is most familiar with: income tax, Social Security Retirement taxes, and even Medicare taxes. However, many don’t know or realize that part of those taxes are used to pay for Disability Insurance provided by the Federal Government. This is known as Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI.

If you are unable now to perform any substantial gainful employment, and your disability has lasted or is likely to last 12 or more consecutive months, you may be eligible to receive a monthly disability check from the federal government comparable to what you would get at retirement. Social Security Disability is different from early retirement or full retirement, so don’t let the employees at the local social security office suggest otherwise.

How Do I Get Benefits?

First, you need to find out if you are insured. In order to qualify, you need a work history in jobs where you paid the taxes. The Social Security Administration looks at your work history to see if you have enough “quarters” of work. That means that you worked for a 3 month period.

If you haven’t worked enough quarters on the books where employers made the required deduction, all is not lost. you may still be able to obtain Supplemental Security Income [SSI], which is covered in another article.

Second, you can’t apply if you are still working. Many people see the writing on the wall and know that they won’t be able to work for much longer. Sometimes, they start the process of applying for disability. Unfortunately, the government can’t consider your claim if you have earnings currently of $1200.00 per month. That amount has increased over the decades and may be bumped up in the near future.

Third, you need to provide medical evidence of a severe impairment or a combination of severe impairments. Some diseases are so obvious that the government will find that you meet a listing. Everything in a government bureaucracy is quantified and objectified so you will know quickly if you qualify.

Fourth, you may still succeed if you lack a residual functional capacity to do substantial and gainful employment. Your age, education, language ability, past work and medical difficulties are factored together. A person over age 50 is more likely to be approved than a younger individual.

Lastly, if an applicant is likely going to miss 2 or more days per month or be off-task 10% or more per day from work activity as documented by medical records and employment records, a judge may find that disability has been proven. Going for chemotherapy or transfusions or dialysis or having seizures or migraine headaches are some examples of missing work or being unproductive at work.

Using Our Decades of Experience to Help

The Social Security Administration often denies claims. This is especially true at the early stages of the process. There are also time limits on filing appeals. It is best to have a lawyer to guide you through the process, who knows how to get the medical records, what evidence is most helpful, and what each particular judge wants to see in the record.

At Marcotte Law Firm, our lawyers understand what is required to win a claim for Social Security Disability. We will get medical records from years past until present, we will ask treating doctors to write supportive narrative letters, we will ask employers and family members to write letters of support. We will even contact U.S. senators and congressmembers to help constituents when the Social Security Administration is being especially difficult. Combining our 150 years of experience, we work together for you.

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