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Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Let’s say that you are under the age of 60 and you recently suffered a severe injury that prevents you from working for several years. How do you know if you qualify for Social Security benefits?

Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy answer to that question. The Social Security Administration has a lot of rules and regulations regarding who can receive disability benefits and for how long.

At first glance, it looks as if you do meet a few of the qualifications – you have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year and you’re under full retirement age.

Here is some basic information to help you better understand what it takes to qualify for SSDI.

Qualifying for SSDI

There are specific regulations surrounding disability benefits and the qualifications are notably strict. To qualify, you must meet the following:

  • You have to be younger than the full retirement age (FRA).
  • Your medical condition must be severe enough that it’s expected to last at least one full year or result in death.
  • You must have worked enough (accrued enough work credits) to pay into the system. Meaning, you must pass the “recent work test” and the “duration of work” test.
  • You cannot earn more than $1,090 per month for 2015 or $1,820 per month for 2016. Note: there is no limit to your unearned income, your spouse’s income, or the amount of assets that you have.

There are certain medical conditions that are so severe, that they automatically define an applicant as disabled. If your condition is on that list, there’s a chance that your application process will be expedited. We suggest contacting our office to see if your condition meets the criteria.

If You Qualify for Benefits

If the Social Security Administration determines that you qualify for SSDI benefits, your benefit amount will be based on your average lifetime earnings. Generally, you can expect to receive the same amount that you would from Social Security if you reached full retirement age.

To give you an idea: The maximum SSDI monthly benefit amount this year (2015) was $2,663, however, the average monthly benefit is less than that. The average benefit for 2015 was $1,165.

Please note that once you reach FRI, your SSDI benefits are automatically converted to Social Security retirement benefits – you can’t have both.

Were you injured at work? If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your SSDI benefits may be reduced accordingly.

In closing, if you end up receiving SSDI benefits for two years, you will get automatic Medicare coverage, whether you’re 30 or 60 – age is not a factor.

To learn more about SSDI, contact a Dallas Social Security Disability attorney from The Zendeh Del Law Firm. We would be glad to offer you the guidance you need!