Navigating the complex web of federal requirements can be challenging when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you’re a resident of North Dakota living with a disability, understanding the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) eligibility criteria is crucial.
Ficek Law, PC can guide you on how to qualify for disability in North Dakota. Continue reading to gain some insight into the SSA’s eligibility guidelines. We also invite you to contact us to schedule a free case consultation.
Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits
Firstly, it’s essential to be able to distinguish between SSDI and SSI. Both programs are designed to provide financial assistance to disabled individuals who are unable to work. However, there are distinct differences regarding eligibility.
- SSDI in North Dakota: Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, pays benefits to disabled individuals who have a sufficient work history. This means they’ve paid into the Social Security System over their lifetime through payroll taxes.
- SSI in North Dakota: Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, pays benefits to disabled, blind, or aged individuals who are also low-income and have minimal resources. This includes people who have never worked or haven’t worked long enough to qualify for SSDI. SSI is based on financial need, not a claimant’s work history.
Criteria for Qualifying for Benefits in North Dakota
If you’re unable to work due to a disability, you’re probably wondering, Who is qualified for disability in North Dakota?
To qualify for SSDI or SSI in North Dakota, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- The SSA’s Definition of Disability:
- The SSA defines “disability” as a medical condition or combination of impairments which are anticipated to last at least 12 months or result in death.
- Your disability must prevent you from engaging in “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA). This means it impedes your ability to work and earn a living wage.
- Your disability must meet or equal an impairment listing in the Blue Book.
- Work Credits (for SSDI applicants only): Your eligibility for SSDI is based on the work credits you’ve accumulated over time. Generally, you need to have earned 40 work credits, 20 of which were acquired in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled.
- Income & Asset Limits (for SSI applicants only): To qualify for SSI, your income and assets must fall below certain thresholds. This includes both earned income (wages) and unearned income (like inheritance or other benefits).
Filing A Disability Claim
When filing a claim, you’ll need to gather evidence that supports your disability. You’ll also need to fill out multiple application forms and meet certain deadlines. You may be required to undergo an exam, tests, or a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, as well.
The steps for filing are outlined below.
- Gather Documentation: Compile medical records, such as doctor’s reports, test results, medication lists, and treatment results. These are used to help determine the nature and extent of your disability.
- Gather Supporting Non-Medical Evidence: Compile accounts from friends, neighbors, family members, coworkers, etc. describing how your disability limits you.
- Begin the Application Process: It’s often beneficial to seek professional assistance when applying for disability benefits. At Ficek Law, PC, we can provide guidance throughout the application process. We’ll ensure you present your case effectively and meet all requirements.
- Await the Decision: After submitting your disability application, it undergoes a review process by a Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency. This is when SSA representatives evaluate your eligibility. The decision can take several months.
- Appeals: If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal. The appeals process involves several stages, including reconsideration, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and further reviews if necessary.
Contact Ficek Law, PC | A Social Security Disability Attorney in North Dakota
Understanding how to qualify for disability in North Dakota is crucial for disabled residents aiming to secure SSDI or SSI benefits. Meeting the required criteria and following the application process diligently can be time-consuming and confusing. Seeking professional assistance can maximize your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve.
At Ficek Law, PC, we’re committed to guiding you through this process with precision and care. For questions or assistance applying for disability benefits in North Dakota, reach out to our law firm. Our dedicated attorney Anton G. Ficek will help you understand your eligibility, from qualifying conditions to back pay opportunities.
When you work with Ficek Law, PC, no situation is too complicated. Contact us now to schedule a free case consultation and allow us to fight for your benefits.