Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides a lifeline to many Ohio residents whose physical health, mental state, or genetic condition leaves them unable to work and support themselves. Federal disability benefits are available to adults and children, but not everyone qualifies.
In fact, qualifying to receive SSDI benefits appears to be getting more difficult each year. Working closely with a caring Columbus Social Security disability attorney while preparing an application and fighting through appeals can help avoid pitfalls and clear hurdles.
Still, people with disabilities who need financial support will increase their chances for securing benefits if they know going in what the basic rules for qualifying are. Brief discussions of SSDI eligibility requirements and the application process follow. You can learn more and request assistance from an experienced Ohio disability benefits lawyer by calling the Calig Law Firm at (614) 252-2300 or reaching out to us online.
Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Generally, U.S. citizens who are adults between the ages of 18 and 62 and who have made contributions to the Social Security fund by having money deducted from their paychecks can apply for SSDI. Such individuals can also apply for federal disability benefits on behalf of their dependent child.
Beyond those eligibility requirements, the person who would receive the SSDI benefits must suffer from a long-term and complete disability. The Social Security Administration maintains extensive lists of permanently disabling conditions for adults and children. To qualify a person for SSDI benefits, a listed condition must leave a person unable to work for at least 12 months or be likely to cause death. Short-term disabilities do not permit people to apply for Social Security benefits.
If a person has spent all his or her time working for public schools, state government, local government, or emergency services, he or she will not be eligible to apply for SSDI. Such individuals do not pay into Social Security since their retirement and disability needs are handled by programs like the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). Most Social Security disability attorneys in Columbus also serve OPERS participants and individuals who are cover by other public retirement systems.
What Must Individuals Do to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
The toughest thing an applicant for SSDI benefits needs to do is collect, organize, and submit evidence that a long-term disability exists and that the disability prohibits working. That evidence includes medical records, hospital bills, prescription orders, reports from physical and occupational therapists, and insurance claim summaries.
The Social Security program may also request an independent assessment of an applicant’s ability to perform job-related activities such as standing, walking, speaking, writing, and concentrating. Then, if benefits are approved, the program can request that the recipient submit evidence of ongoing need.
Many SSDI applications get rejected because the official who reviewed their application considers the medical evidence incomplete or unconvincing. Sitting down with a knowledgeable Columbus Social Security disability attorney while putting together the application will help the applicant track down and remember to include all necessary and supporting documentation.