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Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability?

Erwin, McCane & Daly | Thursday, May 14, 2015

Useful Advice on Social Security from Your Schenectady, NY Attorney

Social security disability insurance (SSDI) is a financial safety net for individuals with disabilities. It is based on contributions you have made in the past through your FICA taxes. Essentially, every paycheck you pay into social security disability, you are purchasing long-term disability coverage for yourself (if you ever need it).

Applying for social security is not as straightforward as people think; there are numerous Americans that are disabled and still denied benefits. It is best to speak with a social security attorney before filing your application. An attorney can help determine if you qualify, but also ensure there are no errors on your application that could result in a denial.

Are You Eligible for SSDI?

Eligibility is complex with social security; however, it is based on three primary factors. To qualify, you must prove that:

  1. You cannot work as you once did.
  2. Your medical condition will not adjust to other types of employment.
  3. Your disability has lasted longer than expected or is expected to last more than one year (or result in death).

Common Reasons Applications are Denied

  • Earning some income. You may be disabled, but you still may earn a small amount of income. If that income is over the substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount, you could be denied. In 2015, the maximum amount that you could earn and still qualify was $1,090 per month (this amount does not apply to the blind).
  • Your disability will not last long enough to qualify. If your disability is not likely to last more than a year and you will be able to return to work within that year, you are not considered disabled.
  • You fail to follow the prescribed treatments. If you have prescribed medications or treatments that will eventually help you get better, but you refuse to follow them, SSDI benefits could be denied to you.
  • Your disability is the result of a drug or alcohol-related condition. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will deny disability benefits to those who have disabilities resulting from drug abuse or alcoholism. They will do a medical consult, however, to determine if stopping drug or alcohol use would still leave you disabled or not.

To learn more about whether or not you qualify, hire a social security law firm near Schenectady, NY. The attorneys at Erwin, McCane & Daly understand the qualifications and steps required to successfully apply for and receive social security disability benefits. Call us today at 518-449-2245 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.