Do I have to be completely unable to work to qualify for SSDI?
No, your disability does not need to prevent you from engaging in all work for you to be eligible to receive SSDI benefits. However, unless your disability prevents you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity, it’s unlikely you’ll receive SSDI. During the 2012 tax year, the amount disqualifying you from receiving SSDI benefits is set at $1010 per month.
Substantial Gainful Activity refers to any type of work, not just the sort of work you did before becoming disabled. If the Social Security Administration determines that your condition prevents you from doing the sort of work you did before, it will try to determine whether your condition prevents you from adjusting to other types of Substantial Gainful Activity. If, despite your condition, you are considered capable of earning an income from other work, it’s unlikely you’ll be found eligible for SSDI.
How do I apply for SSDI?
You can do so in a variety of ways. The first is by visiting your local Social Security office. Although an appointment is not generally necessary, it is advisable to call in advance in order to minimize possible complications.
You can apply for SSDI by telephone. The toll-free number is 800-772-1213 (TDY 1-80325-0778).
You can also apply online for SSDI benefits. Seeing that you’re computer literate enough to be reading this, applying online is probably your best option.
Regardless of how you decide to apply for SSDI, it’s important to do so as soon as you become disabled. Processing of claims for SSDI normally takes three to five months, and you won’t want to wait any longer than necessary to receive any benefits you’re due. According to the Social Security Administration, disability is a lot more common than you may think, so don’t hesitate to apply as soon as you and your doctor think you’ve got a valid claim for disability.
What advice do you have for people planning to file SSDI claims? Please leave a comment below.