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Eligibility for SSDI and SSI Benefits

Many people who are unable to work because of a disability may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In order to be eligible to receive benefits for SSDI (also called SSD), one must fulfill several qualifications issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are three basic requirements to being labeled as "disabled" by the SSA:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • The SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Do you think you may fit these qualifications for SSDI? Are you unsure of whether you would be considered eligible by the SSA? If you are attempting to secure Social Security Disability benefits but are struggling with the process, do not hesitate to seek help. Fill out the free, no-obligation consultation form on the right to receive a case review from an experienced Memphis disability attorney at Morgan & Morgan.

How Do I Determine If I Am Disabled?

The Social Security Administration uses the answers to a few key questions to determine eligibility for SSDI. These include:

  • Are you working? If you have worked in the calendar year and have averaged more than $1,010 per month, you usually will not be considered disabled.
  • Is your condition severe? The SSA notes that your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities.
  • Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions? The SSA uses a computer screening process to identify cases with a high probability to allowance to expedite the receipt of benefits. They publish a list of medical conditions considered so severe that they merit automatic approval for SSDI. If your condition is not on the list, you still may be considered but you must prove that it provides similar restrictions to those included on the list. There are also special situations for those that are blind or have low vision, are a worker's widow or widower, have a disabled child, or are a wounded warrior.
  • Can you do the work you did previously? If your condition is legitimate but not quite as severe as those on the list of disabling conditions, the SSA must deem that it interferes with your ability to do the work you previously did.
  • Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot fulfill your previous job requirements, the SSA will see if you can adjust to a new kind of employment. The SSA considers medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements to be considered "disabled," individuals also must have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify for disability benefits. These work requirements can be found in detail on our SSDI work requirements page.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Sometimes individuals have conditions that almost always qualify them for disability benefits, but other times it is much more difficult to fulfill the Social Security Disability requirements. If you or a loved one has experienced a disability and is seeking to apply for SSDI, a skilled attorney can be an invaluable resource. The Memphis SSDI lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have a proven track record of successfully preparing the disabled of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi for their disability claims. For a consultation from an attorney, fill out the free case review form on the right.

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