Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a government program that’s meant to provide financial resources to those who cannot work due to a long-term (more than 12-month) disability. 8.5% of Alabama residents receive some form of disability benefits. While that number is higher than almost any other state, the program still has specific processes and rules to go through in order to qualify.
Who Qualifies for SSDI
The SSA has a long list of impairments and disabilities that meet the need standard for SSDI. Once the SSA determines that your condition meets that initial requirement, they’ll pass your application to Alabama Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS decides if you will receive disability benefits and the start date of those benefits. According to Nolo, “initial applications in Alabama are approved 31% of the time, while the national average for approvals on initial applications is 35%.”
Do You Need to Have Previously Worked to Qualify for SSDI?
Yes. SSDI benefit amounts are based on a work credits formula. According to the SSA, in 2021, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,880, that’s enough for the four-credit maximum any one person can earn in a year. Typically, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled to earn SSDI benefits. If the applicant is too young to meet those requirements, there are additional options for lower credit thresholds.
How to Apply for SSDI
There are three options. Applicants can file online, call 1-800-772-1213 or go to a local Alabama Social Security office. Keep in mind, though, that the pandemic is limiting in-person options both in the state and across the country.
Of course, with SSDI applications comes a significant number of denials, many of which are often wrong. If you’ve applied and were initially denied, you likely have options to appeal the ruling. Call (205) 221-4646 today to learn how Bevill & Bevill, LLC can advocate on your behalf.