Wheelchair on grass

Social Security Disability Insurance, more commonly referred to as SSDI, is a complicated program and one that many can and should take advantage of if they are disabled and unable to work, but what should you know about it? Tabak Law has put together 5 SSDI facts that you need to know before applying.

1. SSDI is Only For Those With a Work History

Yes, SSDI is meant for those who have worked and cannot work any longer. It actually works in conjunction with the Social Security retirement program, and taking SSDI is basically like being able to tap into your full retirement benefit early. Payments are entirely based on your work history, but merely having worked isn’t enough on its own. Not only do you have to have a work history, but your work history also has to be recent. In the last ten years, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 5 of them.

2. Your Disability Doesn’t Have to be Permanent For You to Collect SSDI

It’s a common misconception that you have to have a permanent disability to collect SSDI. The actual bar for collecting is that your disability has to prevent you from working for at least 12 months. Of course, you can’t collect for the first 5 months of your disability anyway, but even if your situation is expected to improve, so long as you are going to be out of work for at least 12 months, you should consider applying. At the very least, it can help you make ends meet while you are recovering.

Read More: 10 Most Common Qualifying SSDI Conditions

3. SSDI is Different Than SSI

Social Security Disability Insurance has a lot of similarities to SSI or Supplemental Security Income. For the most part, their medical qualifying factors are exactly the same. The difference is that SSDI is for those who have worked and are unable to. SSI does not have that restriction, but it is a needs-based program. That means if you make too much or have too much in assets, then you will not qualify.

In other words, if you don’t qualify for SSDI because you don’t have a work history, then SSI may be for you. If you do qualify for SSDI, but still don’t have much in assets or income and have difficulty making ends meet, then you may qualify for SSI as well. Both programs are not mutually exclusive.

4. Most SSDI Claims Will be Denied Before Getting Approved

Pen on a document

The SSDI approval process is long, often confusing, and usually disheartening. This is because, of the applications that are sent in, only about 35% of them will get approved based on the initial application.

You can continue to pursue beyond that initial denial, and you should. The next phase though, which is called reconsideration, has an even lower approval rate at just 13%. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. At the final appeal stage, where your claim is heard before a judge, the approval rate shoots up to 54%. Hang in there, and maybe you should consider a lawyer as well.

Read More: Is it Worth it to Appeal an SSDI Denial?

5. Your Chances of Being Approved For Benefits Increases With a Lawyer

Having a lawyer on your side in any legal situation is often one of the best moves you can make. Granted, in many situations, the cost may be prohibitive. This is not the case for SSDI claims because most SSDI lawyers will only take payment as a percentage of your back pay and only if you win. This means that no ongoing benefits are affected.

Is having a lawyer on board for your SSDI claim worthwhile? Yes, it is! According to recent statistics, the general approval rate for people going through the claims process is 34% without a lawyer. But with a lawyer that approval percentage jumps up to 60%. That’s nearly double!

Get Legal Help For Your SSDI Claim

If you have been denied SSDI, do not give up. It may just be time to seek legal help. At Tabak Law, we have years of experience helping people get the benefits that they deserve. Reach out to us today for a free case review. Get the law on your side!

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.

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