If you suffer injury in a New York workplace, you might need to take days or weeks off work to fully recover. Especially if you were involved in a motor vehicle collision, you might have suffered a broken bone or a brain injury or other severe condition. In a worse case, your injuries might be so severe that you are unable to ever return to work again, in which case you may need to navigate the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system.
As with most government-funded programs, there are eligibility requirements to fulfill before you can submit an application for SSDI benefits. For instance, your condition must be included in the list of approved medical conditions to be an eligible applicant. There are exceptions to that rule, however.
Application approval is based on income and inability to work
One of the most important things to know about SSDI benefits is that having your application approved hinges upon your level of income, as well as your level of incapacitation to perform work duties. The system measures your substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is your monthly income. It must be at or below a certain level to qualify for SSDI benefits.
This demonstrates need. You must also show that you are no longer able to work due to the injuries or medical condition you have suffered.
You must have earned enough SSA credits in the decade prior to your condition
When you pay into the Social Security Administration (SSA) system, you receive credits. To be eligible to collect SSDI benefits, you had to have paid into the SSA system and earned a certain number of credits within the 10 years leading up to the condition that has prevented you from being able to work.
Your spouse’s income is irrelevant to the application process
You might worry that your spouse earns enough income that you will be ineligible for SSDI benefits. You will be glad to know that it is only your income taken under consideration to determine eligibility. It does not matter how much your spouse earns.
Do not lose heart if your initial claim is denied
Navigating the SSDI system can be stressful, especially if your initial claim receives a denial. However, many people wind up gaining approval on appeal. To avoid denials, it is best to ask someone who is experienced with SSDI benefits to review your application. He or she can tell you if you have included enough detail regarding your condition and whether you have met all other necessary requirements.