If you need to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to prove to the Social Security Administration that you are disabled. Your claim may be denied once or even twice if not handled correctly, and you might not be able to wait that long.

What are the criteria for disability?

The Social Security Administration sets strict disability qualifications. The different disability categories are temporarily, partially or totally disable, each with income cap limits. You must prove that you meet all the following criteria to qualify for total disability benefits of SSDI: 

  • Your disability prevents you from doing the same work as before
  • Your disability prevents you from doing any other work
  • Your disability will be lifelong and could contribute to your death.

What do you need to build your claim?

You may want to consult a legal professional to help you file your claim if you have concerns about your claim being denied. They can help make sure that your claim is correctly assembled and legally convincing. This will include:

  • Sufficient medical history to prove disability (can be difficult with mental health records)
  • Credible doctor’s notes and assessments
  • Meet a “blue book” listed condition
  • Vocational expert opinion or statement of abilities needed to perform a task
  • Non-medical evidence that is honest, consistent and credible

A legal professional can help determine what is “sufficient evidence” or a “credible” doctor’s notes. Having their assistance from the start can save you time and money on medical tests, expert opinions and how to record personal journals and other non-medical evidence to improve your case.