When most people hear the words “Social Security,” they think of retirement benefits to be received after a person chooses to stop working. For more than 10 million people, the words “Social Security” have a very different meaning: they have been prevented from continuing their careers by a disabling medical condition.
It is easier said than done to get approval for those benefits, however. Regular readers of our North Carolina Law Blog know that we have repeatedly covered the backlog that plagues the system and forces claimants to wait close to two years before finding out if their SSDI appeal was successful.
The approval process is often slow and requires attention to detail and a deep understanding of not only the legal process, but also the disability documentation and employment history requirements.
Those who apply for SSDI (also known as SSD) benefits must have a recent work history. If you’re younger than 24, you must have worked for at least half of the past three years. If you’re between 24 and 30, you must have worked at least half of the time since you turned 21. For those who are 31 and older, you must have worked at least half of the past decade.
There are also total work requirements for claimants to meet. If you are age 60 and above, you must have worked at least 9.5 years throughout your career. At age 42, that requirement is for at least five years of employment in your life.
The Social Security Administration uses your work history to determine your average indexed monthly earnings. When you’re approved for SSDI, that number is put into a formula that produces your primary benefit.
To learn more about how you can appeal a denial of a disability benefits claim, contact the law offices of Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler.