Belleville, Ill. (PRWEB) June 29, 2011
An aging population is one factor in the growing numbers of workers who experience a disability and wonder if they are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, according to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands of people in the SSDI application and hearing process each year. There are a number of factors and criteria that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses to evaluate a claim for SSDI benefits, according to Allsup, so it’s important to know beforehand if you are likely to qualify.
The SSDI application process can add to the stress and frustration of those who have experienced a severe disability and must quit working. “Seeking help from an SSDI representative such as Allsup early in the process can make a big difference,” according to Ed Swierczek, Allsup senior claimant representative.
“One of the first steps is understanding if you are going to be eligible based on your current circumstances,” Swierczek said. SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that operates separately from the retirement and SSI programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a disability (injury, illness or condition) that is expected to last for at least 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. More details are provided in the SSDI Overview on Allsup.com.
Understanding Eligibility Criteria Early
Choosing representation at the beginning of the process is one of the simpler decisions people can make to improve their chances of receiving their SSDI benefits more quickly and with less hassle. Contacting a representative also is a good first step to determining if someone is likely to be eligible and qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. “It’s important to know you can get help before you send in the first forms,” said Swierczek said. “Allsup representatives have helped thousands of people to better understand what it takes to qualify for SSDI benefits.”
The SSA follows a five-step sequential process to evaluate applications for disability benefits. The federal agency makes decisions based on medical documentation, work history, age and other factors.
One of the first factors evaluated with someone is their current working status. “First, the SSA determines if an individual is still working at a level that coincides with substantial gainful activity,” Swierczek explained. Earning a certain dollar amount—$1,000 per month or more in 2011—can disqualify someone from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Another important component of an SSDI claim is the person’s work history. People must have paid FICA taxes for a certain period of time at a certain level in the years prior to their disability. Those with disabilities who have questions about eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, can contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center for a free SSDI evaluation at (800) 678-3276. Find more information about eligibility for disability benefits on Allsup.com.
Along with helping determine eligibility, expert SSDI representatives can provide valuable support during the adjudication and review process. The Social Security Disability Insurance program is a multilayer process that involves claim review, decisions and appeals.
Disability applicants may need to pursue a disability appeal if their benefits are denied at the application level, which happens for two-thirds of applicants nationwide. In comparison, 55 percent of Allsup applicants are awarded at the initial application. By the time claimants reach the hearing level, or the second disability appeal, about 90 percent of people applying have a representative such as Allsup helping them with their case.
For more information about choosing a representative, visit Choosing Disability Representation on Allsup.com. If you’re not certain you are eligible for SSDI based on your disability, work history or have additional questions, contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com.
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