Work History Plays Huge Role In Receiving SSDI Benefits

Did you know that thousands of people and applicants are denied based on the lack of work  history and credits?  No?  Then read on!

Hundreds of thousands of people are denied disability benefits each year because they lack the work history needed for eligibility, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) reported the number of technical denials among disability applications has grown from a little over 100,000 in 1999 to more than 650,000 in 2007.1 Technical denials are applications denied for nonmedical reasons. The most common reason for technical denials, the SSA said, is “insufficient number of recent work credits.”
“Work history plays an important part in your application for Social Security disability benefits,” said David Bueltemann, manager of senior claims representatives at Allsup. “Though you have a disability, the type of work you’ve done before will factor into the SSA’s determination about your disability claim. First and foremost, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to be eligible to apply for SSDI.”
SSA follows a five-step sequential process to evaluate applications for disability benefits, and examiners make decisions based on medical documentation, age and work history, among other factors. “Allsup often helps claimants with questions about work history because it can be a confusing area when applying for Social Security disability benefits,” Mr. Bueltemann said.
SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and SSI programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65-67) and who can no longer work because of a disability (injury, illness or condition) that is expected to last for at least 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. Find more about Social Security disability applications on Allsup.com.
Social Security Disability Benefits and Work History

To help applicants, Allsup explains four areas where work history plays a role in someone’s claim for Social Security disability benefits.
  1. Work history documents that you are currently insured. Working taxpayers contribute to the federal Social Security Disability Insurance program through their Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. You paid these payroll taxes through your employer or as a self-employed worker. “You are probably aware that a portion of your taxes paid goes to the Social Security retirement and Medicare programs, as well as the SSDI program,” Mr. Bueltemann explained.To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must be “currently insured,” which means that you have made recent FICA payments. Specifically, you must have paid for 20 quarters in the past 10 years to qualify. You can “buy a quarter” by earning a certain amount during a specific calendar year. In 2010, workers buy a quarter if they earn $1,120; with a maximum of four quarters in one year. Those who experience disability and must quit working before age 31 have lesser requirements.
  1. Work history documents that you are fully insured. This is a second qualifier used to determine if you are eligible for SSDI benefits, and it’s also based on your quarters of coverage. If you have 40 quarters of coverage, you are fully insured. (Note: You can earn up to four quarters a year.) The SSA uses another calculation for younger workers—using six quarters of coverage, plus one quarter of coverage for each year after the year you reach age 21. For example, a person age 27 likely only needs 12 quarters of coverage to be fully insured.
  1. Work history details also factor into the SSA’s determination of whether you are disabled. “The disability examiner will look at your disability, medical condition and your work experiences when deciding your case,” Mr. Bueltemann said. They evaluate your ability to perform work you did in the past, as well as any type of work you may be capable of performing. Employment experiences from the past 15 years are relevant to your application. Read about general disability guidelines on Allsup.com.
  2. Work history also factors into your amount of benefits. The SSA tracks your earnings and taxes paid over time in order to determine your Social Security retirement and, separately, your SSDI benefits. This is based on records filed by your employer, who is required to send the SSA a copy of your W-2 form each year. Find more information about understanding your Social Security statement on Allsup.com.
If you’re not certain you are eligible for SSDI based on your work history, contact the Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 279-4357 for a free evaluation. An Allsup professional can help you determine if your work history and medical condition(s) may qualify you for SSDI benefits.
1 – Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2008; released July 2009.

Allsup Won My Disability Case

I started my journey in trying to get disability in March 2007.  A friend of mine, Lynn, who has fibromyalgia and rhuematoid arthritis had already won her case but full warned me to get help in doing so.  She was right.  I do not advise anyone to attempt the disability process on their own.  There are many loop holes and hurdles that you just don’t know about and hiring a professional ups your chances by far in receiving an award for disability.

I had heard of a company called Allsup through some forums I’d visited and decided to give them a call.  I figured what the heck the worst that can happen is them not take my case right?  It was the best move I ever made.  Don’t think you can afford to hire someone?  That is what my biggest fear was.  Allsup took that fear right out of me.  They will represent you and unless they win your case you do not pay a dime.  Once your case is awarded their fee (highly reasonable) comes from your backpay that comes with your award of disability.

I found out that even with representation, social security will deny a huge majority up to 3 or more (many more) times causing much lost time and it will have to go to a hearing before a judge.  This is why it is SO important (I feel anyway) to have professional representation.  Anyway back to the day I called Allsup.  They talked with me over the phone  and set up an initial phone interview to go over my medical history, doctors information and other important information and after giving them this they took my case. I was sent paperwork to sign and go over and they started their proceedings.

The process is long but would have been longer had I tried to do it myself.  The best part was I didn’t have to do a thing.  They handled everything and made it as easy as possible for me.  No dealing with pulling my own medical records, filing out tons of paperwork that I wouldn’t and couldn’t understand anyway, no running to and from and no stressful issues to deal with.  I am in total debt of gratitude to Allsup.

The toughest thing for me was the waiting.  It got frustrating and I came close to throwing my hands up in the air and saying “FORGET IT” and when I felt that way Allsup was right there to talk me through it.  Giving up is what social security wants you to do…and that is the bottom line.  I was denied 3 times even with representation but found out that was normal due process.  My next stressful event was going before a judge and having a hearing.  That however was handled very well by my representative and she was so supportive, understanding and was like a dog with a bone with my case.  Her knowledge was unsurpassed!  Thank you Deb Breeden and Allsup once again!

After the hearing was another 90 day waiting period (boy did I get good at “hurry up and wait”).  As of March 2010 I was finally awarded my disability WOOHOOO!  However, my biggest excitement was not the fact that I won monthly monetary benefits but gained INSURANCE with medicare.  For 3 years I’d been without medical coverage (that is another blog in itself) I can now finally see my doctor again without paying out of pocket that I could not afford so mostly I never even saw a doctor after I lost my insurance several years ago.  Getting back medical has made me the happiest.  Money is money but without medical insurance and being sick makes life a whole lot worse.

Here it is July of 2010 and the last of the proceedings is in the works.  I just received my Medicare card and my benefits will start this month as well.  So the total time to win my disability boils down to about 3 years.

I cannot promise you will win your case for disability but I can say that if you get representation it will be much easier on you.  Should you want to contact Allsup please let them know that Jamie Volner referred you.  I guess for anyone I refer I get a 50.00 referral fee.  I thought that was neat!

You can visit the Allsup website by clicking HERE

Whatever you decide to do, however you decide to go about it, I wish you the very best!