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Filing for SSDI Benefits

Filing for SSDI Benefits

Filing for SSDI Benefits. SSDI requires that your medical conditions prevent you from working for at least 12 months.  SSDI is available to individuals who have worked a certain number of years and paid into the Social Security system.   Under SSDI,

  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 65 years old and
  • You have earned a certain amount of “work credits.” 

Work credits

Each year that you work and pay into Social Security, you earn work credits.  Generally need to earn 20 work credits to meet the requirements for SSDI.  However, if you are younger, you may meet the requirements for SSDI with fewer credits.  Additionally, you must have worked recently for SSDI.   Your coverage for SSDI benefits ends after a certain amount of time from when you stopped working.  Generally, your date last insured (DLI) for coverage ends five years after you stopped working. 

Application process

The initial SSDI application requires a lot of paperwork.  You must provide specific information.  An experienced disability advocate can help you prepare filing your disability claim.  Your chances improve when you give Social Security complete information.  Missing information can often lead to a denial. Call Now for Help Filing for SSDI Benefits.

What information is necessary for filing SSDI?

Most importantly, you must provide your doctors’ information and work history.  You should provide all of the doctors you’ve seen since you stopped working or became unable to work.  Medical information should also include any emergency room visits or hospital admissions.  Additionally, you must provide your work history.  Social Security only asks for jobs you’ve done in the last 15 years. 

Filing for SSDI Benefits: Medical review

Once Social Security processes your application, they will make a medical decision.  First, Social Security considers whether your conditions fall under their listing of impairments known as the “Blue Book.”  Generally, the Blue Book requirements are the most severe level of disability.  Most conditions will not meet these conditions.  However, Social Security considers your residual functional capacity (RFC) if you don’t meet the listings. Call Now for Help Filing for SSDI Benefits.

Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

Your RFC includes both physical and mental limitations.  Social Security needs to understand how your conditions impact your function.  They review your medical records to determine your RFC.  They also consider any opinions from your doctors.   If your doctor fills out an RFC form, it should be very detailed.  An RFC form should include:

  • Your symptoms and conditions
  • Treatment and medications
  • Medication side effects
  • How your conditions impact your physical activities such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting and carrying
  • How your conditions impact your mental activities such as understanding and remembering information, getting along with others and maintaining attention and concentration

Filing for SSDI:  medical evidence

Your medical evidence should include records only for the period of time that you became disabled and unable to work.  Your treatment should also be continuous and ongoing.  Medical evidence should include:

  • Firstly, Treatment notes and physical examinations
  • Secondly, Imaging such as MRIs, x-rays, CT scans or nerve testing
  • Thirdly, Blood work or biopsy results
  • Fourthly, Pulmonary tests
  • Lastly, Mental health records

Does my age matter when filing for SSDI?

Social Security uses a chart called the Medical-Vocational guidelines to evaluate your disability claim.  These guidelines called the “grid rules” make it easier for older people to win their case.  Social Security understands that it may be harder for older people to do new or different work.  Typically, if you are over the age of 50, the grid rules can allow Social Security to approve your case even if you can do other work.  The rules are even more favorable if you are over age 55. Call Now for Help Filing for SSDI Benefits.

Example 1:  Filing for SSDI over age 50

For example, a 53 year old woman applied for disability due to degenerative joint disease in her knee and anxiety.  She previously worked as a cashier.  She was unable to stand for long periods.  Her anxiety also started to interfere with her ability to be around other people.  She also had trouble concentrating.  Social Security found that she could not do her past work as a cashier.  They also found that she could not do any other standing jobs.  She could only do simple and routine tasks.  The grid rules allowed Social Security to approve her case. Call Now for Help Filing for SSDI Benefits.

Example 2:  Filing for SSDI over age 55

In another example, a 58 year old man applied for disability due to coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.  He previously worked installing cable.  His job required lifting more than 50 pounds.  Since Social Security found that he could not return to his past work, he was approved for disability benefits. Call Now for Help Filing for SSDI Benefits.

Filing for SSDI:  what if my application is denied?

Social Security often denies claims.  You should appeal any denials.  Re-filing a new application doesn’t help getting approved for benefits.  It only can delay the appeals process.  Frequently, Social Security denies you for the same reasons.   Your changes for getting approved improve when you appeal an unfavorable decision.  In fact, most cases have the best chance for approval at the hearing level. Call Now for Help Filing for SSDI Benefits.

Disability Help Group, Call Now for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Make sure you start your claim the right way and apply for all the benefits you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation. Call Now for Help Filing for SSDI Benefits.