Age discrimination doesn’t exist when it comes to disabilities. Whether you are young or old, you may find yourself disabled and unable to work due to a variety of physical and mental conditions. In fact, one out of every five Americans suffers from a disability and many of them probably live right here in Indiana. That’s 56 million people nationwide.
If you and three of your friends are currently in your 20s, one of you will suffer from a disability before you reach retirement age. Where can you turn for financial assistance if that one person is you? You may qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits.
Does your condition qualify for SSDI?
As you can imagine, the Social Security Administration doesn’t just provide SSDI benefits to everyone. At a minimum, you will need to meet these strict criteria in order to qualify:
- You have a serious medical condition that has kept you out of work for a year already or will keep you out of work for at least a year.
- Due to your condition, you can no longer do the work you did prior to your disability.
- Due to your condition, you are unable to find other gainful employment.
The number of people qualifying for SSDI benefits has continued to rise over the 60 years the program has existed. This is mainly due to the aging of the baby boomer generation and the increase of women in the workforce who qualify for benefits over the last few decades.
If the SSA knew more people would need benefits, why are so many denied?
The SSA designed the application process to help weed out people who would take advantage of the system by committing fraud. This often results in people who should receive benefits receiving a denial of their initial applications. Not only must you have paid into the Social Security system, but you must also make it through the strict screening process regarding your disability.
The amount of benefits you may receive is set by the SSA, the trick is whether the agency believes you are disabled and in need of benefits. This is where an experienced SSDI attorney may prove invaluable. Most claims may be denied, but you may request a reconsideration and file appeals if necessary. You have more than one chance to prove your case, and putting your best foot forward could help that happen faster.