The Seelig Law Offices

How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability in New York?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2018 | SSDI |

When you are disabled because of an accident, physical condition, or mental condition, it can be difficult to know where to turn for assistance. The federal government has two types of Social Security disability programs for disabled individuals.  The programs provide income assistance to individuals with a disability to assist them in paying for their living expenses and needs. However, navigating the system can be difficult. Our New York Social Security Disability lawyers can help you file a new claim or appeal a denial so that you can qualify for Social Security disability in New York.

What Programs Are Available for Social  Security Disability in New York?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Each program provides disability benefits based on the SSA’s definition of disabled; however, the qualifications for each program are slightly different.

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits under SSDI, you must have worked long enough to earn the required work credits based on your age and other factors. When you work, you pay Social Security taxes. These taxes are used to fund the SSDI program. Therefore, only individuals who have earned their required work credits and paid into the system are eligible for SSDI benefits.

On the other hand, you do not have to work to earn credits to be eligible for SSI benefits. You may qualify for Social Security disability under SSI without a work history. General tax revenues fund the program as a federal supplemental income program. However, you must meet strict financial guidelines to receive SSI benefits. If you own assets or have other income, you may not qualify for Social Security disability benefits under SSI.

A New York Social Security Disability lawyer can review your case to determine if you may be eligible for SSDI or SSI disability benefits.

How Do I Know If I Am Disabled?

The SSA has a strict definition of disability that may be different from the definition used by other government agencies to determine eligibility for benefits. To be considered disabled for Social Security disability benefits, you must demonstrate that a medically determinable mental or physical impairment prevents you from engaging in a substantial gainful activity (SGA). The impairment must have lasted or is expected to last 12 months or result in your death.

A couple of important points about the definition of disability are:

  • SGA refers to any work activity that you can perform to earn an income to support yourself. The work does not need to be full-time to qualify as SGA. If you can perform any work activity that earns $1,180 per month ($1,970 per month if you are blind), you may not qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

  • Medically-determinable means that you can provide medical evidence of your condition. The SSA has specific guidelines for determining if a condition rises to the level of a disability. You could have a physical or mental impairment that does not meet the requirements for disability.

You Need a New York Social Security Disability Lawyer

In addition to the above, there are other requirements that you must meet to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. For many individuals, proving their condition meets or exceeds the definition of a disability can be difficult.

An experienced New York Social Security Disability lawyer understands the SSA’s system for determining whether an impairment qualifies as a disability. Your attorney can help you gather and provide the evidence needed for approval of SSDI or SSI benefits. Call now to speak with a New York Social Security disability claims lawyer about how we can help you during the appeal process.