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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a safety net for those who become too ill to work or suffer from a debilitating condition that precludes them from working. It pays benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) similar to those available after retirement. Certain members of your family may also be eligible if you are deemed disabled.

Although, there are stringent requirements to qualify, and the SSA reports that only about one-third of applicants are approved each year. Many people wait months and even years only to be turned down for overlooking something minor. If you cannot work and your doctor does not believe you can return to work, a Pace Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) lawyer at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon could help you file for disability benefits.

Requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, recipients must work a certain number of years and pay Social Security taxes, usually deducted by employers. Benefits begin five months after approval.

These benefits are lifesavers for many people, with the SSA reporting that a current 20-year-old has a 25 percent chance of becoming disabled before retirement. Requirements for SSDI benefits include:

  • Being diagnosed with a medical condition recognized by the SSA
  • The medical condition is expected to prevent the person from working for at least a year or result in the person’s death
  • The person must be younger than 62
  • The disability cannot be partial or short-term
  • The person must have been employed within the previous five years

Children and spouses—including divorced spouses—may be eligible for dependent benefits based on a disabled person’s work history. To learn if you qualify for SSDI or dependent benefits, talk to an experienced attorney in Pace.

Spouses Eligible for Benefits

When a person qualifies for disability benefits, their spouse may also qualify for a check that is up to 50 percent of the amount the disability recipient is paid. The spousal benefit is affected by how many months they have until full retirement or whether they are already retired but making less in Social Security benefits than 50 percent of a spouse’s disability benefits. Spouses caring for the disabled person’s child who is younger than 16 or was disabled before turning 22 are also eligible.

Divorced Spouses May be Entitled to Benefits

If someone qualifies for disability benefits, their divorced spouses may, too. The disabled person can even remarry, although the divorced spouse must be single to be eligible for benefits based on the ex-spouse’s work record. The divorced spouse must have been married to the disabled spouse for ten or more years and be at least 62 to be eligible. The divorced spouse will be ineligible if their own Social Security benefits are equal to or more than the benefits they would receive as the disabled spouse’s ex.

Children Can Receive Benefits

A parent who qualifies for Social Security disability benefits may, based on their work record, enable their children to collect monthly checks up to 50 percent of their own. Benefits are limited depending on how much the disabled parent collects and how many dependent children are involved. Parents in Pace who qualify for disability benefits should consult with an SSDI lawyer who could help calculate what spouses and children may be entitled to.

A Pace SSDI Attorney Fights for Your Benefits

About one in four working adults will become disabled before they retire, a sobering statistic from the Social Security Administration. Fortunately, a program exists to compensate people who have worked but no longer can and are too young to collect retirement benefits. You may qualify, but under the right conditions, your spouse and children may also. Even an ex-spouse may receive a monthly check.

These benefits are not automatic, and most applicants are turned down each year; about two-thirds of them. However, our seasoned attorneys understand what the SSA is looking for, including compelling medical evidence and your work history. To learn more about the system and how likely you are to qualify, contact a Pace Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) lawyer at our firm who can walk you through the process.