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Do You Qualify for SSDI in New York?

qualifications for ssdi in new york

Social security disability insurance (SSDI) is a government program that pays monthly benefits to cover costs of living for those that are unable to work due to a debilitating illness or disability. This helps thousands each year who are unable to earn the wages needed to support themselves. However, qualification process for SSDI is complex, and can be difficult to navigate. This is to ensure that only those that need compensation from SSDI benefits are able to receive it.

NYS has specific medical and non-medical requirements in place that applicants must meet in order to qualify and receive SSDI benefits. Read on to determine if you are eligible for SSDI in New York, how to apply for benefits, and what you can expect from the social security disability process. 

Medical Requirements for SSDI in NY

Match the Social Security Act’s Definition of “Disabled.”

Every applicant must meet New York state’s definition of “disabled” in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. The Social Security Act specifically defines a disability as a condition that renders one unable to engage in “any substantial gainful activity.”

Earn Monthly Wages Under the Gainful Activity Threshold

Gainful activity is an occupation in which one is able to earn over a certain threshold of monthly income. Only those that earn under this threshold can qualify to receive SSDI benefits. This value fluctuates over time based on rising or lowering costs of living in New York, as well as other factors including the national average income.

As of February 2020, the monthly substantial gainful activity amount is $1,260, so you must be unable to make less than this in order to qualify for SSDI. 

You Must Be Disabled for at Least 5 Months

You must be disabled for five months before you can receive monthly SSDI benefits. However, those that are newly disabled do not need to wait the full five months before applying, as the application process alone can last anywhere from six months to a year. It is advised to contact an experienced disability insurance attorney in order to determine the best time to apply for SSDI, and the timeline of events you can expect before you’re able to receive benefits.

Find Your Disability on the SSA’s List of Qualifying Conditions

The Social Security Administration maintains a list of medical conditions that qualify for SSDI in New York. The impairments listed include:

  • Cancers such as lymphoma, skin cancers, and cancers of the lungs, kidneys, and brain (among many others)
  • Musculoskeletal Impairments such as amputation, severe burns, and prolonged immobility
  • Special Senses and Speech Disabilities including vision or hearing loss
  • Respiratory Disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cardiovascular System Injuries and Illnesses such as chronic heart failure, syncope, and disorders impacting the veins or arteries
  • Digestive System Disorders including gastrointestinal hemorrhages, hepatic dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and malnutrition
  • Genitourinary Disorders that result in chronic kidney disease such as glomerulonephritis, diabetic nephropathy, obstructive uropathy, heriditary nephropathies, and glomerular dysfunction
  • Non-Cancerous Hematological Disorders such as hemolytic anemias, thrombosis and hemostasis that disrupt the development of white and red blood cells, as well as platelets
  • Skin Disorders such as bullous diseases and chronic infections of the skin, whether they’re acquired from from hereditary, congenital, or pathological processes
  • Endocrine Disorders that cause a hormonal imbalances, including those caused by disruptions within pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, or pancreatic glands
  • Congenital Disorders that affect multiple systems of the body, including non-mosaic Down syndrome (a karotype analysis is required to be provided to determine if one’s Down syndrome is mosaic or non-mosaic)
  • Neurological Disorders including epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, comas, or any function that impairs physical or mental functioning will be evaluated
  • Mental Disorders including severe neurocognitive disorders, schitzophrenia and other psychotic disorders, depression and bipolar disorder, intellectual disorders, certain anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders, personality and impulse control disorders, autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, and trauma-related disorders are all valid for evaluation by the SSA
  • Immune System Disorders such as issues with production of antibodies, autoimmune disorders, and HIV

Provide Medical Evidence of Your Disability

When completing your disability application in NY, you need to include medical evidence of your medical condition and disability status. The New York Disability Determination Services (NYDDS) will complete an in-depth evaluation of your medical condition and disability. If there is insufficient evidence in your application to verify the severity of your medical condition, the NYDDS will arrange a consultative examination of your condition.

If you are unsure whether or not your condition qualifies for SSDI, call 855-468-7626 for a free consultation with a New York Social Security Disability Lawyer.

Most Common Qualifying Conditions for SSDI in New York

The most common qualifying medical conditions in New York SSDI are mental disorders. These include depression, somatic disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and schizophrenia.

Many individuals have more than one qualifying medical disorder. Remember that having a medical condition in any category that qualifies under the Social Security Administration rules may not be enough to qualify for disability benefits. You must still meet all other eligibility requirements.

Non-Medical Requirements for SSDI

Every applicant for SSDI needs to meet non-medial requirements, which includes gaining enough work credits attained through your past work history. Work credits are earned on an annual basis in any job or position where the individual paid FICA (Social Security) taxes. New York workers can earn up to four work credits each year.

Work Credit Requirements in NY

The number of work credits you earn in a given year is tied to the amount of your income. As of February 2020, one work credit is obtained for every $1,410 earned, up to a maximum of four credits per year. The general expectation is that a worker must have at least 20 credits prior to applying – half of which were earned in the past 10 years – to qualify for SSDI benefits. It is possible for younger workers to qualify with fewer credits.

The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI depends on your age at the time of disability. The older the applicant, the more work credits will be expected to have been obtained before applying. For example, a 60-year old applicant will need more work credits to qualify than someone in his or her late 20’s. 

Work Credit Exceptions

The requirement of work credits is only waived in exceptional circumstances, like the applicant being under the age of 22. The limited exceptions and strict requirements mean there are people filing for disability in NY that won’t qualify for SSDI benefits. Where else can you turn if disabled and unable to earn an income?

Income from self-employment can count towards annual work credit if Social Security taxes were paid. Some jobs also have special rules related to work credits, which can be explained by staff at the Social Security Administration, or by a disability insurance lawyer.

Applying for New York Social Security Disability Insurance

There are several ways to complete and submit an application for SSDI in New York. One method is by contacting a local field office near you. SSDI field offices are staffed with state employees that can assist with filing your application. It is also possible to file a disability application in New York over the phone. Contact the Social Security Administration and speak to a representative.

You can also file online for SSDI benefits through the SSA’s website. Once you apply, the SSA will review the non-medical aspects of your application. The severity of your disability and medical condition are then passed to the NY Disability Determination Services.

Contact a NY SSDI Attorney

If you are disabled and are considering collecting from social security disability insurance, speak with an expert Social Security Disability lawyer before starting your application. Doing so can result in faster times to collect payments, less paperwork required on behalf of the client, and maximized benefits.

Sobo & Sobo has a team of experienced SSDI lawyers who have helped hundreds of disabled clients collect the settlements and benefits they deserve. If you require assistance with your disability filing or appeal, contact Sobo & Sobo at Call 855-468-7626 for a free consultation to ask how they can assist you with filing an SSDI application or appeal, or ask any other questions you may have. Or, send them a message by completing a contact form here.

FAQ: Where Does SSDI Funding Come From?

Monthly SSDI benefits in NY are funded by payroll taxes through the United States Social Security Program. This is the same federal program that pays monthly benefits to a large number of retired Americans, including New York residents. The federally-managed Social Security Disability law sets the eligibility requirements for NY SSDI.