Those who suffer from medical conditions that prevent them from being able to sustain work may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. These benefits provide a valuable source of financial assistance and medical insurance coverage to many, but the nuances of the program result in personal experiences that can vary widely. Citizens Disability recommends that applicants understand the following information:

SSDI Basics

SSDI is an earned benefit available to individuals who have worked a required amount of time and have sufficiently paid into the Social Security tax system. The required amount of work coverage for eligibility varies based on age, however as a general rule, you must have worked for at least part of 5 of the 10 years before you become disabled.

Determining Who Counts as Disabled

Applications typically must include a claimant’s medical conditions and limitations, medical provider contact information, and employment history. Furnishing this information completely and accurately is important, and may help the SSA to issue a decision quickly. Some individuals may be eligible for expedited case processing. This includes veterans, claimants with terminal illnesses, the homeless, and people in extreme financial distress. The process by which the SSA determines disability is complex; reading our overview may be helpful, starting with step one of the process.

The SSDI Application Process, In Brief

Initial applications are processed by local Social Security offices. If you are denied after your first application, there is an appeal called Request for Reconsideration. In most states, the case is reviewed again by a different disability determination specialist. If your claim is denied again, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). It’s worth knowing the details if you do decide to apply; it’s worth reading our more in-depth explanation of the application process.


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How Are SSDI Payment Rates Determined?

An individual’s average earnings history and contribution to the Social Security Administration through taxes are the main factors in deciding payment rates. You may also be eligible for an additional amount if you have children under the age of 18. Claimants who receive SSDI benefits for 24 months are automatically eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B, regardless of their age.

About Citizens Disability, LLC:

Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled.