Over the last 25 years, I have spoken with numerous persons in Alabama who called to ask what exactly is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). One of the first things I typically tell them is that SSDI benefits are not a type of welfare benefit. I tell them that it is easier to think of SSDI benefits as being Early Social Security Retirement for medical reasons. Just as with Social Security Retirement benefits, SSDI benefits are earned by one working and paying their social security taxes, but due to some physical and/or mental impairment the person is unable to work until 66 and has to “retire” early.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must show that (i) you meet the legal definition of being disabled and (ii) that you are insured for disability purposes. You become insured for disability purposes by paying your social security taxes while being able to work. There are four quarters in each financial year, and you can “earn” up to 4 credits per year. To be fully insured for disability benefits, you must have 20 out of 40 credits, which breaks down to having worked 5 of the last 10 years. So, if you have a good work history and last worked in 2010, you should be insured through 2015 (5 years out).
There is no shame or indignity in having to apply for disability benefits. In fact, statistics show that one in seven people ages 35-65 can expect to become disabled for five years or longer.
You worked for, and earned your disability benefits should you need them. The government is making it more difficult and harder to get your benefits, you shouldn’t make it any more difficult on yourself by feeling like you’re doing something wrong-or listening to the idiot politicians who try to convince people that most people receiving disability benefits are doing so fraudulently (the fact is that according to a 2013 study, that less than 1% of the Social Security Disability funds paid out were paid out on fraudulent claims)
If your claim for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, don’t give up, call and speak with one of the experienced Huntsville, Alabama Disability Lawyers at Powell and Denny.
Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can’t