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Social Security Disability Insurance in Arizona

Published on February 12th, 2020 by Eric Slepian

The Social Security Administration, or SSA, administers the Social Security Disability Insurance benefit program. Known as SSDI, this program provides monthly cash payments to eligible disabled recipients who cannot work.

Federal disability definition

SSDI uses a definition of “disability” as set out in federal law. To meet this definition, an eligible claimant must have a severe medical physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that has lasted at least a year or is expected to last at least one year or result in death. The disability must prevent meaningful work. Not only must they not be able to return to past work, but also unable to adjust to the duties of different jobs.

SSDI eligibility

SSDI is similar to private disability insurance. Just as a worker pays money into Social Security retirement benefits through payroll deductions over their lifetime, deducted money also goes toward creating eligibility for SSDI in case disability later prevents work.

The main difference between SSDI and private disability insurance (as well as veterans’ benefits or workers’ compensation) is that no benefits are paid for partial or temporary disability – there must be full disability expected to last one year or result in death according to the federal definition.

In addition to the disability requirement, the claimant must have earned enough quarterly work credits (through wages or self-employment earnings). The qualifying number of work credits considers age and requires relatively recent work history.

SSDI in Arizona

The SSA provides state-by-state data for SSDI benefits. According to 2018 Arizona statistics, 151,124 people in our state received SSDI. An attorney can provide guidance and representation that can make a real difference to an Arizonan completing the SSDI application or requesting review or appeal of a denied claim.

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