What Is Social Security Disability (SSDI)? The Social Security program has been helping Americans who are unable to work for one reason or another meet their financial needs for more than three-quarters of a century. Perhaps the most commonly understood benefits provided by the Social Security program are retirement benefits.

As one would expect, these benefits begin when an eligible worker retires, and the amount of his or her payments are based on the amount he or she paid into the system while working. The Social Security program also provides benefits to people who become disabled and are no longer able to work. In addition, the program also may provide benefits to certain family members of disabled workers.

Unfortunately, the process of obtaining Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) can be complicated and daunting for people not familiar with the system. In many cases, the assistance of an experienced attorney can help make the process go much more smoothly and ensure that you start receiving benefits as soon as possible. In addition, if you’re denied social security disability, an attorney can help you appeal the decision and represent you in any proceedings that may take place.

What is the Definition of “Disabled” in the Context of SSDI Eligibility?

The definition of “disability” that is used by the Social Security Administration is different than the one used by other programs. The Social Security program does not pay benefits for partial or short-term disability, and requires that workers are unable to work in order to be eligible for benefits. In order to be eligible for SSDI, workers must:

  • Not be able to perform the same work that they did before;
  • Receive a determination from the Social Security Administration stating they cannot adjust to other work due to their medical condition or conditions; and
  • Have a disability that must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

Do I Need to Have Been Working to Receive SSDI?

Like other benefits provided by the Social Security program, workers must pay into the system in order to be eligible to receive benefits. In the context of disability benefits, a worker must have worked both for a long enough period of time and recently enough in order to receive SSDI upon becoming disabled. Generally, a worker must have earned at least 40 Social Security credits, 20 of which being earned in the last 10 years prior to becoming disabled.

Younger workers who become disabled may be eligible with fewer credits. In addition, there may be benefits available to people who are blind, a worker’s widow or widower, disabled children, or for wounded warriors and veterans.

Contact a Michigan SSDI Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Individuals who believe they may be eligible for SSDI should discuss their options with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. In addition, anyone involved in a dispute over benefits with the Social Security Administration should retain legal counsel. In many cases, lawyers for social security disability can have a significant impact on the outcome of a SSDI case.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call the Law Offices of Disability Attorneys of Michigan™ today at 800-949-2900.