Individuals who are no longer able to work due to a medical condition, chronic illness or severe injury may apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Because the taxes deducted from workers’ paychecks cover SSDI benefits, the income earned during the past 10 years establishes eligibility.
As noted by U.S. News & World Report, an individual may apply for SSDI after earning at least 40 work credits. Generally, a worker may accrue the maximum amount of four work credits each year by earning $5,640, as stated on the Social Security website. To establish eligibility for SSDI benefits, an applicant must meet the requirement of having earned 20 work credits within the past 10 years regardless of his or her age.
When chronic pain or overexertion from a repetitive stress injury prevents an individual from performing his or her basic work duties, the impairment may establish the need for disability benefits. Serious injuries due to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis may also qualify for SSDI.
Workers suffering from digestive issues that make it difficult to hold a job, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, may apply for benefits. Individuals with a chronic mental impairment may also apply.
Proof of disability
A worker must have suffered from an injury or a medical condition for at least one year before applying for SSDI. Maintaining complete records of medical appointments and treatments provided can help to provide evidence of a condition causing impairment. Proof of treatment or interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder, debilitating depression or schizophrenia help to determine that a mental impairment disability exists.
Steps to take
Before applying, an individual may request a log of earned work credits from the Social Security Administration. The SSDI application process is lengthy and a worker should expect several visits to a physician to complete a sufficiently thorough diagnosis. A denied or rejected application may require an appeal to determine eligibility.