Before applying for disability benefits, a person should consider whether the disabling condition can prevent him or her from working for a year. The individual should find out whether he or she can transition to a less demanding job. He or she should also determine if his or her work history is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The newly disabled person should also consider whether he or she will require help in filing a disability claim. These five considerations will significantly improve the odds of disability claim approval.

The Severity of the Disabling Condition

For a person to qualify for SSDI benefits, he or she must have a condition that keeps him or her from carrying out everyday activities. He or she must support the claim with valid medical records, including a doctor’s letter of support.

Inability to Work for at Least a Year

Since SSDI is a full disability program, only persons who are deemed 100% disabled can receive financial awards. An applicant must submit substantial evidence proving that his or her condition is severe enough to keep him or her out of the job for at least 12 months.

Inability to Keep Working in Any Capacity

A person with a disabling condition must determine whether he or she can keep working at the current job or if he or she can transition to a less demanding job. If a disability applicant doesn’t satisfy the Blue Book listing, the SSA might assess him or her for a medical-vocational allowance. The SSA will start by determining the applicant’s residual functional capacity (RFC) and use it to determine if the applicant can continue with the current job or if he or she can work in any other capacity.  

Work History’s Eligibility for SSDI

Only people who have worked and contributed FICA taxes into the SSDI system are eligible for disability benefits. A person must have paid a specific amount of taxes into the system to qualify for SSDI benefits. The required amount, however, varies with the applicant’s age and the number of years worked.

Legal Support in Filing the Disability Claim

Before applying for SSDI, the applicant should consider whether he or she will need legal support in filing the claim. Long term disability lawyers can answer questions that applicants may have and guide them through the entire application process.