Social Security is best defined as a social insurance program that substitutes income lost due to a worker’s disability, death, or retirement. It offers guaranteed benefits that help to sustain the increasing cost of living. These benefits are progressive, covering a higher percentage of the worker’s previous income, especially for those with lower earning levels.
In July 2023, the National Women’s Law Center reported helping nearly 67 million people obtain Social Security benefits. It is interesting to note that in 2021, these benefits helped almost 22 million individuals, including more than 15 million older adults over the age of 65 who were living above the poverty line.
Even though the majority of beneficiaries obtain retirement benefits, Social Security proves to be much more than just a basic retirement program. It also offers disability insurance protection and life insurance.
In 2022, close to 90% of people between the ages of 21 and 64 were insured for severe disability through Social Security. Additionally, close to 2.7 million children below the age of 18 obtained Social Security benefits as dependents of disabled, deceased, or retired workers in 2021.
In this article, we will discuss the important aspects of Social Security Disability Insurance and whether certain disabilities have a higher chance of approval or not.
The SSDI Benefits
Often, people are curious about the benefits of Social Security Disability Insurance. There is no straightforward answer to it since it depends on the case. Factors such as the cause of injuries, your income, and your insurance coverage will impact the benefits that you might receive.
Here are a few extra benefits that people might qualify for based on their situation:
Individuals who have received SSDI benefits for approximately two years are eligible for Medicare benefits as well. It is a government-provided insurance designed for older adults. This insurance plan covers outpatient care, hospital stays, and even coinsurance costs.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Even though SSI is governed by the SSA, it operates differently. The benefits aren’t determined based on your earlier work history. Instead, you will receive a specific amount that matches the maximum benefit for the current year, as set by law. Individuals who earn a ‘countable income’ from various sources, including SSDI, will have their SSI benefits reduced.
The COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is a federal law that allows you to maintain your employer’s insurance coverage for a specific period after you have left your job. Here, you have the option to stay on the employer’s plan for about 18 months. However, disabled individuals may retain their workplace coverage for two years or more.
What Qualifies You for an SSDI Claim?
SSDI is administered by the SSA (Social Security Administration). Do you want to find out if you qualify for it? If so, you need to demonstrate your employment history and contributions to the system through tax payments.
The total number of work credits required to qualify for disability benefits depends entirely on the person’s age and the date of disability. It is possible for younger workers to become eligible with fewer credits. Typically, a worker would need 40 credits to be eligible for disability benefits, with nearly 20 credits earned within the last 10 years before they become disabled.
Additionally, it is necessary to meet the disability listing requirements that correspond to one of the multiple qualifying criteria for SSDI. The conditions mentioned in the SSA’s Blue Book should be met for eligibility for SSDI.
The SSDI benefits application process starts with the SSA assessing your medical evidence. TruLaw states that the first step is important because the SSA decides whether the applicant’s medical condition meets the pre-decided disability criteria.
The main task here is to check whether the applicant’s medical condition is challenging enough to hamper their capacity to work. To prove this, applicants should provide all the relevant medical reports and records that substantiate their claim.
Disabilities That Are Easily Approved
Disability benefits may be available to you if your medical condition prevents you from working for a year or more.
In August 2021, Marca reported that arthritis and various other musculoskeletal system disorders usually receive quick approval for SSDI benefits. This is because arthritis has become a common ailment that people suffer from now.
Furthermore, over 58 million people in the United States are struggling with arthritis.
Hence, if you, too, are suffering from this condition and it’s affecting your quality of life, you might be eligible for disability benefits.
The other common ailments that qualify you for receiving disability benefits include:
- Degenerative disc diseases
- Heart ailments
- Respiratory problems
- Nervous system problems
- Immune system problems
Other than this, selected medical conditions might qualify for SSDI benefits automatically, such as organ transplants, ALS, and fatal cancers like mucosal melanoma and esophageal cancer.
Disabilities That Don’t Get Easily Approved
Chronic migraines, neck and back injuries, and fibromyalgia are a few disabilities that might take time to get approved for disability benefits. Even carpal tunnel syndrome and various other “syndromes” that are considered disabling are challenging to diagnose and prove.
SSDI claims may reject mental health disorders, like depression. This is because most of the evidence for depression or any other mental health issue, like panic disorder, is subjective. At times, treatment providers fail to provide correct documentation and records. Furthermore, there are times when patients don’t follow through with the entire treatment plan, which reduces the chances of their SSDI claim being approved.
First SSDI Payment Duration
Are you wondering how long you need to wait for your first SSDI payment? The time for approval can range from weeks to months. Once your SSDI benefits are approved, you will be allowed to receive back pay for the specific months you were disabled during the waiting period.
Your first payment will arrive within a few weeks after your claim is approved and the waiting period is over. If there are any issues with the claim, such as a disagreement about the disability or a missing medical report, it may take longer for you to receive the payment.
The SSDI benefits approval process can vary based on individual circumstances and specific disabilities. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the primary objective of the SSA is to assist people who urgently and genuinely need it.
Quick approvals are feasible for specific disabilities, but a convincing case must be put forth. Correct documentation is crucial, as it helps outline the severity of a medical condition and its adverse impact on an individual’s health. Understanding the nuances of the SSDI application process can increase the scope of timely approval.