How Do You Know If You Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits–or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) to people who have a qualifying disability and are unable to work for a year or more.

Do You Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Man in a wheelchair and working on a laptop in the kitchen; for information on who qualitifes for disability benefts

The Social Security Administration establishes the qualifications for SSDI. Benefits are not available for partial or short-term disability. You’ll find details on the SSA website. Some of the requirements include:

  • Previous employment in jobs covered by Social Security
  • Current unemployment due to your illness or injury
  • An injury or illness that significantly limits or restricts your ability to do any work-related activities, including lifting, standing, sitting, and concentrating for at least 12 months
  • An injury or illness that meets the criteria on the SSA’s list of qualifying medical conditions

What Should You Know About Social Security Disability Benefits?

Although you may need and apply for social security benefits, there are important factors to consider:

  • Each year more than 60 percent of disabilities are denied.
  • If your illness meets the qualifying medical conditions defined by the Social Security Administration, consult with an SSDI attorney to ensure your application and supporting documentation meets the requirements. It will prevent your case from being denied due to incomplete or insufficient details.
  • An SSDI claim can be approved in 30 to 90 days. Some cases take up to two years before you receive benefits.

SSDI vs. Disability Income Insurance

Disability income insurance is an insurance policy that you purchase. It is a way to replace part of your income if you are ill or injured and unable to work. Your disability insurance policy will specify which illnesses quality for benefits.

If you’re currently employed and not ill or injured, act now. Consider disability income insurance as a way to help you plan wisely. The statistics show why:

  • Each year, 5.6 percent of Americans will experience a short-term disability due to pregnancy, illness, or injury.
  • One of four 20-year-olds will experience a short-term disability before they reach age 65.
  • Only 48 percent of Americans say they have enough savings to cover three months of expenses if they become disabled and unable to work.

What Can You Expect with Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance doesn’t replace 100 percent of your income. Most plans offer 50 to 70 percent of income coverage. The average cost of coverage is three to four percent of your income. You select coverage and add-on features based on your income, your family’s needs, and your budget. But if you’re injured or become ill, disability income insurance limits mounting debt and increases your peace of mind.

Get Guidance Before You Decide

If you’re thinking about disability income insurance, John Hunt of Hunt Insurance in Raleigh-Durham can help. He removes the guesswork with clear, transparent explanations to help you decide if disability income insurance is right for you and your family.

Start the conversation. Contact us by phone or submit the contact form on our secure website.

For details, read the disability income insurance page on our website.