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Social Security Disability Claims: Understanding the Financial and Legal Requirements

Social Security Disability AttorneyGetting access to Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits can be challenging. In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that nearly 60 percent of disability claims are denied — with about half of denials being for ‘technical’ reasons and the other half being for ‘medical’ reasons.

To obtain SSDI benefits, an applicant must satisfy both medical and non-medical requirements.

In this article, our Chicago Metro Area, IL Social Security disability attorney explains the most important things you need to know about the financial and legal requirements that must be met to qualify for SSDI benefits.

An Overview of the Non-Medical Social Security Disability Requirements

A major part of the SSA’s review of your application will focus on financial and legal requirements. In other words, this part of the process is not related to an applicant’s medical condition, nor is it related to their medical eligibility. The three key financial and legal requirements are as follows:

  1. You Must Have Paid into the System: Not everyone is covered by Social Security Disability Insurance. To be covered, an applicant must have “paid” an appropriate amount into the system. How long you will have had to ‘pay in’ depends on your age. For applicants under the age of 24, they must have 1.5 years of relevant work experience in the most recent three-year period. On the other end of the spectrum, workers over the age of 43 must have worked at least five of the last 10 years.
  2. You Must Satisfy Income Limitations: Fundamentally, SSDI benefits are meant for those who are medically unable to make enough income to support themselves. This is often referred to as substantial gainful activity (SGA) standard. For 2019, the maximum monthly income for non-blind disability applicants is $1,220. If you make too much money, your application will be denied.
  3. You Must Be a Citizen or Lawful Resident: Finally, Social Security disability benefits are only available for American citizens or lawful residents. You do not have to be a citizen to qualify for SSDI benefits, but you must have authorization to live in the United States.

The Process Typically Starts with a Financial/Legal Evaluation

As a rule, a claim evaluator from the Social Security Administration will conduct a technical review of a claim before any medical review is initiated. In other words, if a Social Security disability application is determined to not meet the financial or legal requirements, then medical evidence may not be evaluated at all. With a well-prepared SSDI claim that meets all relevant financial and legal requirements, your application will advance to a more comprehensive review.

Speak to Our Chicago Metro Area, IL Social Security Disability Lawyer Today

At Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd., our Chicago Metro Area Social Security disability attorney is a compassionate and effective advocate for clients. If your Social Security disability claim was denied, we are here to help. We have over 35 years of successfully representing Social Security claimants. To schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation, please contact our law firm right away. From our office in Lisle, we handle Social Security disability claims throughout the Chicago Metropolitan region, including DuPage, Will, and Kane County and the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Region.