A recent article explored the questions of a 59-year-old worker who had recently been rendered unable to work by a severe injury. The individual had heard of Social Security disability insurance benefits, but was uncertain of the specific requirements.
As an attorney who focuses on disability benefits knows, the worker’s question cannot be answered with a simple summary of the Social Security Administration’s eligibility requirements for SSDI payments. Although the SSA requires a disabling condition to prevent an individual from working, there is no simple approach to proving that requirement, with the possible exception of conditions that are terminal.
According to the SSA’s own data, there were 2.65 million SSDI applicants in 2013, but only 885,000 were approved. Does that mean that over half of the applicants weren’t disabled? Probably not. Rather, an attorney would caution that many types of physical or mental disabilities can be hard to prove.
Fortunately, a disabled individual may be eligible for various types of government benefits, depending on factors such as age, employment, and even veteran’s status. In New Jersey, those who qualify for SSDI benefits also satisfy the requirements for Medicare benefits. Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income may be other options for low-income individuals with serious conditions.
With the help of an attorney, an individual can discuss his or her condition and explore the benefits that might be available. More importantly, an attorney can help an applicant with the type of evidence needed to present a strong claim and satisfy disability examiners of the functional impairment presented by a particular disability.
Source: Finance Townhall, “Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?” June 29, 2014