Meeting the Disability Criteria
You will also need to meet the Social Security Administration’s medical disability definition to qualify for SSDI benefits. As mentioned above, not every medical diagnosis is considered a disability under federal regulatory law. The Social Security Administration uses a “Blue Book” containing qualifying medical conditions, categorized by body system. As long as your medical diagnosis is listed in the Blue Book and meets the requirements for severity outlined in the Blue Book, you will qualify for SSDI benefits.
In some cases, your medical condition may not be listed in the Blue Book. It is still possible for you to obtain SSDI benefits in that case, but you will have to show that your medical condition impedes your lifestyle to the same extent as other conditions listed in the Blue Book. The Social Security Administration will only grant benefits to applicants who meet the following requirements:
- Cannot do the same type of work they did before becoming disabled
- Cannot adjust to working in a different type of work due to their disability
- The disability has lasted or will last for at least a year, or result in death
While proving that you meet the criteria for a disability under federal law is essential, eligibility is largely based on your ability to maintain substantial gainful employment (SGA). You will have to show that you are unable to continue working in your current job and that your medical disability makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to learn how to do another type of job.
The Difference Between SSDI and SSI Benefits
You may be wondering whether you should apply for SSDI or SSI benefits. SSDI and SSI benefits are both federal government programs that provide cash benefits to those who have a qualifying medical disability. There are three critical differences between SSDI and SSI benefits, however. SSI benefits are intended to supplement the income of blind, elderly, or disabled people who do not have the means to pay for their basic needs. The SSI benefits program is a “means-tested benefit,” meaning it has a strict set of financial requirements that you must meet before you are eligible.
By contrast, SSDI benefits are available to any person with a disability who has paid into the Social Security Administration system for at least 10 years. Eligible applicants can obtain benefits regardless of their current income level or the number of assets they own. The key to obtaining SSDI benefits is proving that you have a qualifying disabling medical condition.
Are You Eligible for Sacramento SSDI Benefits?
Having a medical condition isn’t enough to qualify for SSDI benefits. Instead, you must have paid enough into the Social Security Administration system as an employee. You’ll need to show that you contributed over a specified amount of money in taxes to the Social Security Administration, called “work credits.” California workers receive up to four work credits each year they work. In most cases, you will need to earn 40 work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. Additionally, 20 of those work credits must have been earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled.
The Benefits of Hiring a Sacramento Social Security Disability Lawyer
At Disability Advocates Group, we focus our legal practice on helping clients obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Our experienced legal team has helped thousands of clients in Sacramento and the greater Sacramento area obtain the benefits they deserve. Applying for SSI and SSDI benefits can be a challenging and tedious process. The Social Security Administration (SSA) frequently rejects applications because of technicalities. We understand how frustrating and complicated it can be to apply for benefits and are prepared to assist you throughout every step of the SSDI or SSI process.
Why Was My SSDI Claim Denied?
Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration rejects the vast majority of first-time SSDI and SSI applications. They could determine that your medical condition or disability isn’t severe enough or isn’t expected to last long enough to qualify for benefits. Or, they may find that you failed to follow your doctor’s instructions and that if you had followed medical instructions, you might be able to continue working. Still, other applications are rejected because of missing information, errors, or a lack of sufficient detail.
Appealing an SSDI or SSI Claims Denial in Sacramento
When you receive a letter stating that the Social Security Administration has denied your claim, it will include the reason for the denial. Meeting with an experienced Sacramento SSDI lawyer immediately after receiving your denial letter is crucial. You will have a short time frame to appeal the denial of your application.
The experienced legal team at Disability Advocates Group will get to work immediately on your claim. We will review your application and your denial letter and gather the necessary evidence and information to succeed in an appeal. Even though most applicants have to appeal the denial of their claim, the SSDI and SSI appeals process remains hugely complicated. We know what it takes to succeed in SSDI and SSI appeals, and we will advocate for you in front of an administrative law judge.
Contact Our Sacramento Social Security Disability Lawyers Today
If you need to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits in Sacramento, or you have to appeal a denial of your application, Disability Advocates Group is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.
2424 Arden Way #200
Sacramento, CA 95825
8581 Folsom Blvd STE A
Sacramento, CA 95826
40 Massie Ct
Sacramento, CA 95823