Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a federal benefit available to individuals who are disabled and have contributed to the program through their Social Security taxes from employment. The program pays benefits to people who are disabled and cannot work for at least 12 months or more.
The process of applying for SSDI can be long and complex. One of the first things to determine is whether you are considered disabled according to the program's specific parameters. An understanding of how the Social Security Administration defines disability can help you know if you may qualify for the benefit.
Definition of disability
The Social Security Administration defines disability in a specific way for the SSDI program, and the definition of disability under SSDI may differ from other federal benefit programs. In the case of SSDI, a physical impairment must be present for at least one year or more to qualify as a disability. In addition, you must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity; in other words, unable to work for a living.
Physical impairments for SSDI
If you meet the basic qualifications for a disability, you then must determine whether your particular physical impairment qualifies under the SSDI program. The Social Security Administration provides a list of impairments. The impairments are divided into different categories based on the various systems in the body, including mental impairments and immune system disorders.
Even if your impairment is not listed, you may still be eligible to apply for the program. The best way to navigate the tricky world of SSDI and your application is to speak with a qualified attorney who works with SSDI cases. These lawyers have specialized experience helping people prepare their SSDI applications, ensuring the best possible chances for an approval.
SSDI applications are often rejected on the initial filing. If your application is rejected, you should not give up hope. An attorney can also help you with the appeals process. The Social Security Administration may approve your application on appeal. One of the key factors in this system is that you can greatly benefit by having skilled assistance. Consult with an attorney to understand if your particular physical impairment is eligible for SSDI.