In our experience, most people who apply for Social Security disability think that you only need to have a disability. Unfortunately, there is more than having a disability that determines if you qualify. This is just one part of the application process. Here are three things to consider when you apply for Social Security disability.
1. Work credits. Generally people remain insured for Social Security disability for about five years after they have stopped working. The day you stop being insured is called the date last insured, also known as DLI. To get your DLI, you can schedule a conference call with us! Our staff can help you three way call your local SSA office with you. The number we use to call SSA has a pretty quick wait time, and is only about fifteen minutes. The SSA office closes at 4:00 pm, so it would be best to schedule a conference call with you over the phone before they close. If your work credits have already expired, you still may qualify, and our staff also helps you determine that over the phone.
2. A Medically Determinable Impairment. If your disability interferes with your ability to consistently work full time, you may be able to qualify. You will need to have your condition medically documented. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a treating doctor. When you hire our office, we can ask the SSA to send you to evaluations to help document your conditions. We will work with you to keep Social Security up to date with regard to your medical records, and when it is time we will request them on your behalf. We have great experience requesting medical records, with little to no cost, for Oregon and Washington. We are happy to consult with you about this in more detail over the phone. We make sure to get complete and accurate records, so that nothing is missed.
3. Income. There are rules that Social Security has about how much a person can earn each year. Your gross income must be at or below the cap of $1,310 a month. This is called Substantial Gainful Activity or SGA. Gross income is the amount of income earned before the taxes are taken out. If you do work part time, you can still continue to work while your application is pending if you are earning less than the yearly SGA limits. These limits also increase from time to time with inflation. No matter what situation you are in, give us a call to check first, and we can help you determine if you qualify based off of your specific case. We might even be able to help if you have already returned back to work or had an attempt at returning back at work.
If this is your first time applying for Social Security disability, the process could be overwhelming. We are here to help you every step of the way. Our staff are highly specialized in what we do, they can offer you a free screening consultation, as well as advice. They can tell you whether or not you may qualify over the phone. If you are interested in applying for Social Security Disability, feel free to give us a call and we can help walk you through the process. Our consultations are free, and we are available to talk over the phone from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. Call us today at 503-255-9092.