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How can you tell if you qualify for SSDI before you apply?

The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is downright notorious for being difficult to complete, and that reputation certainly has a basis in fact.

According to data provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) itself, almost two-thirds of applicants (64%) don’t connect with the benefits they request, although many people who at first get denied will eventually successfully appeal and get benefits.

You probably don’t want to go through the effort of applying for SSDI benefits if the likelihood of getting approved in your case is particularly low. How can you determine if you have a good chance at approval for an SSDI claim?

Have you paid into Social Security?

Almost all workers, including independent contractors, make payroll contributions to Social Security. The higher your wages, the more hours you work, and the longer you remain employed, the more benefits accrue with the SSA.

Most people hope to use those benefits as part of their retirement, but others may need them for support after they get diagnosed with a serious condition or get hurt in a car crash. If you have received a letter advising you that you qualify for Social Security due to your payroll contributions in the past, then you have met that necessary contribution threshold to make an SSDI claim.

Does your condition qualify you for benefits?

It can be relatively easy to determine whether your employment history qualifies you for SSDI. It can be more difficult to assess your medical condition. Typically, there are two requirements that your conditions must meet.

It will need to last for at least 12 months or be terminal. It will also need to be debilitating in nature. Your condition needs to affect your ability to work or take care of yourself for you to qualify. You will also need medical documentation that validates your claim that the condition is disabling.

All too often, those who meet the standards for SSDI benefits receive a denial letter and stop pursuing their claim. When you understand the criteria for qualifying, that can help keep you motivated in the process of appealing the initial denial.