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Being recently disabled can make you feel insecure. You may ask yourself how you’ll support yourself and your loved ones. How will you keep a roof over your head? Where will the next paycheck come from?

As an American, if you meet certain criteria, you could qualify for monetary benefits from the government through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

What counts as a disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a rather narrow definition of what counts as a disability. A disability, the SSA says, must meet three criteria for you to qualify for benefit payments:

  • You cannot continue doing the work you once did
  • You cannot find new work because of your condition
  • It’s expected your disability will last more than a year or result in death

If you are still working, you may still be eligible for SSDI if you earn less than $1,220 per month.

What conditions does SSDI cover?

SSDI covers a wide range of conditions, from bipolar disorder to heart disease, compiled online in their “Listing of Impairments.” If you can provide medical evidence that you have a listed condition and it significantly impairs your ability to earn a living, there is a good chance that you will qualify for SSDI benefits.

Applying for benefits

Getting your life back together after becoming disable is an urgent priority, and your livelihood is at stake. Though the SSDI application may seem straightforward, many applicants are at first rejected.

It’s a good idea to enlist the help of an attorney experienced in dealing with SSDI. They can help you get your application documents in order and make sure your application is complete. And if you are rejected, a lawyer is a great resource to help you navigate the appeals process.