When you’ve been hurt and are no longer able to work, it can be hard to know how to move forward with your life. You may find yourself struggling to pay your bills and wondering how you are going to support yourself and your family. For workers who have accumulated enough work experience the Social Security Disability Insurance program may be the answer to their financial woes following a life affecting injury.
Unfortunately, however, many workers are unsure whether they qualify for SSDI, causing them to miss out on needed benefits. Read on to learn how to know if you qualify for social security disability and find out how an SSDI attorney can help.
Testing the Duration of Your Work
To receive SSDI benefits you must pass two tests, the first of which is known as the Duration of Work Test. This test examines your work history to determine that you’ve paid into Social Security for enough time during your work career. Passing the Duration of work test is based around the age at which you became disabled and how many years of Social Security payments you made before succumbing to your disability. For example, if your injury occurred before you turned 28, then you would need one and a half years of work to be eligible for social security disability payments.
It’s important to note that the amount of work experience you need directly correlates to your age at the time of your injury, with the maximum experience being ten years for someone 62 years of age.
Examining Your Recent Work History
The second test you must pass is known as the Recent Work Test, which stipulates that you must have worked for at least five years over a ten-year period prior to your disability ending your career. The Recent Work Test was developed with younger workers in mind who did not have the opportunity to have long careers. Passing the Recent Work Test is slightly more complicated as it is based on a calendar quarter system.
For instance, if your disability occurred in or before the quarter you turn 24, then you must have acquired a year and a half of work experience over a three-year period leading up to your disability. Disabilities that occur after your 24th birthday will require extended work experience starting from the time you turned 21.
Eligibility of Family Members
If you pass both tests and qualify for social security disability benefits, then it is also possible for select family members to receive benefits due to your history. Family members with the potential to receive benefits include spouses who are 62 or older, a former spouse providing care for a disabled child under 16, and any child under the age of 18 or who is 19 but in college.
Apply for Social Security Disability with Legal Help
Workers whose career has ended due to an unforeseen disability have a long road ahead of them trying to find a way to support themselves financially. It is for these workers that the SSDI program was designed. However, many who apply for SSDI find the process difficult to navigate and may even be denied the benefits they so desperately need.
If you need help applying for social security disability benefits, then you need to hire an attorney from the Law Office of Dr. Bill LaTour. We are experts in the intricacies of social security law and can help you earn the benefits you need to move on with your life. Contact us today.