Social Security’s Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides financial security to employees with qualified disabilities. This insurance pays qualified individuals monthly with an amount equal to what they would receive during retirement. Beneficiaries also receive work incentives that provide continued health care coverage and other related benefits until they can return to work.
The SSDI insures 155 million workers in the country. Though the numbers are promising, qualification for these benefits can be hard. The authorities at the Social Security Administration filter all of their applicants according to a set of standards. And this includes a five-question process for screening.
The Five Question Process to Qualify for Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration has specific guidelines on who qualifies for disability insurance. The applicants must meet these to receive the benefits. The five question process assesses the medical and physical state of an individual, as well as reviews their work history.
- Are You Working?
The first question the Social Security Administration asks applicants about is the status of their employment. Applicants still working currently with an average income of more than $1,220 monthly don’t qualify under the administration’s guidelines.
It is possible to work and collect SSDI benefits simultaneously though, as long as you don’t earn past the set threshold.
- Is Your Condition “Severe?”
A separate body under the Social Security Administration, Disability Determination Services (DDS) reviews your medical condition and decides whether you are eligible or not for the disability benefits.
Your condition has to significantly limit your ability to do basic work, like standing, walking, sitting, lifting, and remembering, for at least a year.
- Is Your Condition in the List of Disabling Conditions?
Once they’ve determined that your medical condition affects your fulfillment of simple work-related activities, they then cross-check it with their list of covered medical conditions. Most of the conditions they cover are permanent and might result in death if left untreated.
Additionally, even if your medical condition is not on the list, they can make an exception; as long as your condition appears as severe as the others on the list.
- Can You Do the Work You Did Previously?
If the medical impairment you have is not as severe as those in the list but hinders your performance at work, then you might qualify for a disability benefit.
- Can You Do Any Other Type of Work?
Lastly, this question is for determining whether or not there is an employment option for you despite your current medical condition.
A lawyer advocating social security disability benefits can help clients submit the necessary requirements to meet these criteria and get them the benefits they deserve. These benefits become the source of income for an individual if they acquire or develop a medical condition that renders them unable to work for at least a year.
The five-question process ensures that only eligible people receive disability benefits. Its primary function is to prevent these benefits from falling into the wrong hands of opportunistic fraudsters through screening the applications and retaining those that need it the most.