It can be difficult to deal with a condition that prevents you from working. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) can help disabled workers but only if they meet the standards for receiving benefits. If you are applying for SSDI benefits, read on to learn more about the two phases of the approval process.
The Introductory Step
This step is meant to weed out applicants that don't have a serious enough condition or that don't have enough work credits. Each paycheck you have ever earned resulted in a sum of money set aside for retirement or disability, whichever comes first. You must have earned enough work credits by the time you apply and the number needed varies by age. Along with work credits, make sure that you are not doing any work and are no longer earning any money.
The Disability Determination Step
Satisfying the above requirements will propel your application to the desk of the disability determination services (DDS) division of the SSA. This phase of evaluation is primarily concerned with your medical or mental condition and the way it affects (or does not affect) your ability to work at your most recent job. First, you must have an affliction that has lasted for at least a year or is expected to last for at least a year.
Then, your treatment from a medical professional is checked. You must have a record of treatment before you apply and continue with that treatment on an ongoing basis. Then, the DDS does a deep dive into your exact condition to find out if it meets the standards using the SSA blue book of afflictions. For example, you might need to show that you have been diagnosed using certain tests, have taken certain medications, have tried certain remedies, etc. Finally, the way your condition affects your job tasks is checked. It doesn't matter that you have a proven disorder that affects your leg if your job involves very little walking or standing.
The above is just an overview of a very complex process. If you want to increase your chances of being approved, speak to a Social Security attorney about your application. On the other hand, if you have already been turned down for benefits, you will need a lawyer to help you with your appeal hearing. Having a Social Security lawyer can make all the difference in your case, so speak to one today.