For those who have already been in the workforce, a sudden and profound injury or illness presents a challenging life change. Contending with a new and serious medical condition is difficult on its own, and even more so when the person is unable to work and income is an issue. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration provides support to those who lose the ability to work later in life.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

Social Security Disability Insurance is often abbreviated as SSDI, SSD, or referred to as ‘worker’s disability.’ It is designed to provide income for those who have already worked and paid Social Security (FICA) taxes into the system, and are now unable to work. There are several factors which determine an applicant’s eligibility, two of the most important being work credits and medical eligibility.

Work Credits

When you apply for benefits, your work credits—the amount of time spent paying the FICA tax—will be assessed. The amount of work credits needed to qualify for benefits is proportionate to the age you were when you became disabled. If you are found to have worked an insufficient amount to receive SSDI, you may instead apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Medical Eligibility

In order to qualify for SSDI, a person will need to meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled. The applicant’s symptoms must be so pervasive that they can no longer perform any “substantial gainful activities.” The condition must also be long-term; expected to last at least one year or until death.

What Do I Need to Apply for SSDI?

In order to apply for SSDI you will need to provide substantial personal information, including (but not limited to) your birth certificate, W-2 forms, proof of citizenship, and an adult disability report which collects information about your condition. Our social security disability attorneys in Orange County can help you collect necessary medical evidence, source professional medical opinions, and prepare for the questions you will face in your hearing.

SSDI Lawyer — Orange County

Though many people apply for and are granted benefits independently, others who are rightfully deserving of SSDI benefits struggle to complete the process successfully. The benefits system is complex and, in many cases, necessitates personal legal guidance. Our SSD attorneys help Orange County residents gather medical evidence, file their first applications, and make appeals. If you are preparing to apply or need help filing an appeal, contact us today to request your free consultation.