What Is Social Security Disability Insurance

— Mar 17, 2018

North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyers

The simple definition of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): A government program that issues benefits to those people who have become disabled before they reach retirement age and are unable to work.



Work Credits: To be eligible and receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must have earned a set number of work credits. An individual may earn up to four work credits per year.  Your age at the time you became disabled determines how many work credits you will need to qualify for SSDI benefits.


Medical Condition: you must also have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability. Those who have the medical condition requirement are those with a long-term, severe, total disability.

Definition of Severe: This means that the extent of your condition interferes with your ability to perform basic work-related tasks.

Definition of Long-term: This means that your condition has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one year.

Definition of Total disability: This means that you are not able to perform “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). Meaning, if you are unable to gain an income of $1,040 per month, the SSA will find that you are not able to perform SGA.


Approval: If the SSA approves you for disability benefits, you will not receive those benefits for five months. This means that if your claim is approved right away, you will start to receive benefits five months from the date of approval. Most claims can take months to a year for an approval, and when this happens, you will be credited backpay disability. Disability payments start on the sixth month after your disability began.


Denial: Most Social Security Disability claims are initially denied, an appeal of the decision may be made within 60 days of your receipt of the letter, request a review of the denial. To appeal the decision, the first level of appeal is the Request for Reconsideration, which is simply a request to have another claims examiner review your case. If you are subsequently denied, you may request a hearing with an SSA administrative law judge.