Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers: How to Qualify for SSDIAugust 22, 2016
If you have been injured resulting in a disability that prevents you from returning to your job, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The amount of benefits you will be eligible for depends on your work record. This means that you will likely receive what your Social Security retirement benefit would have been if you continued to work until retirement age. The following information will help you determine whether you qualify for SSDI and what benefits you can expect to collect.
First, you must establish whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. Generally speaking, benefits are paid to people who are unable to work due to an injury or illness that is expected to last at least a year, or result in death.
Five-Step Process in Determining Eligibility
- If you are able to work and earn more than a specified threshold each month as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are not considered to be disabled. It is possible, however, to collect SSDI and work at the same time.
- Your injury or illness must prevent you from being able to perform basic work activities, such as standing or walking, for a minimum of one year.
- If above criteria are met, the SSA compares your medical condition to a list of impairments that they deem severe enough to prevent someone from being able to work. If it is, you qualify as having a disability.
- The SSA will need to determine whether or not your disability is preventing you from doing your specific job. For example, if your disability prevents you from doing any heavy lifting, but most of your job is done while sitting at a desk, your disability may not qualify for benefits.
- The SSA will decide if you are able and qualified to perform other job responsibilities in order to remain employed.
The next step in determining whether you qualify for benefits is to determine whether you have worked long enough. To do so, you will need to pass the following two tests:
- Recent Work Test: This depends on your age and how much you have worked in a period of time before you became disabled. For example, you can pass the recent work test if you became disabled at age 31, and you worked during five out of the 10-year period prior to becoming disabled.
- Duration of Work Test: This tells you how many years you need to have worked in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. The test is based on a sliding scale determined by your age. For example, you must have worked 1.5 years if you became disabled before the age of 28, and 9.5 years if you become disabled by the age of 60.
How Much Will You Receive in Disability Benefits?
You can get a realistic idea of what your disability benefits would be if you review your latest Social Security statement and set up an account on the SSA’s website. An example of estimated disability benefits for an individual who worked long enough to qualify, and whose expected retirement benefit is $1,762, would be $1,596. Our Maryland Social Security disability lawyers can also help you with this.
Processing SSDI claims can be a time-consuming process, often taking up to five months to resolve. In order to avoid delays, make sure that you have the following information available when you apply:
- Your Social Security number
- Contact information for doctors, hospitals, and any other individuals that are relevant to your disability
- Medication information
- Medical records
- Laboratory/test results
- Employment records
- Your latest W-2 and tax records
Maryland Social Security Disability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Clients Obtain Maximum Disability Benefits
If you have a disability that is preventing you from being able to work, contact our Maryland Social Security disability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton so that we can secure the maximum allowable benefits that you deserve. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to assist those who have been denied Social Security benefits throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.