As a blog, we normally focus on private long-term disability insurance. However, one form of long-term disability insurance is also federal Social Security Disability Insurance, which we have discussed in a prior post, where we focused on the injuries that qualify for SSDI benefits. In this post, we will focus on qualifying for SSDI benefits, generally.
The basic requirements
First, you must work for an Austin, Texas, job, either as an employee or business owner, where you are required to make Social Security taxes. This means your job is “covered by Social Security.” Second, you must have paid enough of those taxes, based on your age, to qualify. Next, as we discussed in the prior post, you must have a medical condition, injury or some disease that qualifies as a long-term disability.
If you qualify, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will pay you SSDI benefits until you are able to work again. There are also work transition benefits to help when that happens, including both monetary and healthcare benefits.
Simply working a Social Security-covered job is not enough. You must have worked for that job long enough, recently enough and paid the SSA enough. Each year that you work at such a covered job, the SSA awards you work credits based on your Austin, Texas, self-employment or wage income, up to four credits a year.
The number of wages needed each year to qualify for a work credit changes every year, but in 2022, it was approximately $1,500 per credit, up to around $6,000 for four credits. And, the number of work credits needed depends on the age when your qualifying medical condition started. While this math is individualized based on age, generally, applicants need 20 work credits within the last 10 years and an additional 20 earned whenever.
As we discussed in that prior post, for SSDI benefits, the SSA requires that your medical condition be a long-term disability (total disability). Essentially, this means that you cannot work for 1 year, have not been able to work for one year or your medical condition will kill you. There is no coverage for partial disabilities for Austinites.
As Texans, we like to be prepared, which is why long-term disability insurance is so popular. This is because, as you can see from this post, SSDI benefits do not pay in every instance, which means that private LTD insurance can be a life saver, but in either instance, a denial is possible, and you should be prepared to fight it.