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Lost job should I apply for SSDI or try to get a new job

Can't find work, is SSDI an option?

With the slow economical growth the Social Security Administration (SSA) has seen an influx of new Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications. If you have lost your job and have found it increasingly difficult to work you may wonder if you should apply for SSDI benefits. This blog will address when  you should and should not apply.

When Should I apply for SSDI disability benefits?

SSDI is given to workers who are severely disabled with a mental or physical condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. It is not given for partial or short-term disabilities. If you have become severely disabled and have been unable to work you may be eligible for SSDI if you can prove your condition will last 12 months, if not, you need not apply because you will be automatically disabled.

So, if you have lost your job and simply cannot find a new one or you are too tired to look for one, this will not be sufficient to win SSDI benefits. Also, if you believe that you can get SSDI for a few months just until you find work this is also not going to work. Most claimants wait weeks, months or years to get SSDI so if you are only going to be out of work for a couple of months you most likely would start working again before your SSDI application is even processed.

When should I look for a new job?

Many claimants find that their health condition is so severe it does not allow them to continue to work their current job, but will this be enough to win SSDI? No, the SSA uses several criteria to determine if most claimants are disabled and one of the questions they will consider is whether you can train for new work.

For instance, if you used to be a nurse but now you cannot lift more than 20 pounds you may no longer be able to do nursing work, but the SSA will also consider if you could retrain for a more sedentary job such as a medical transcriptionist.

If you are less than 55 years of age and you are college educated and you can do sedentary work the SSA will assume you can retrain for new work (unless your condition and symptoms “meet or exceeds” a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments). Older claimants will have a better chance of proving they cannot work another job.

What’s the bottom line?

If you can work, you must work. This may take time and new training. You may have to go back to school and acquire new skills that allow you to perform new work. Social Security Disability Insurance is only for those who are most desperate, and applying for SSDI before understanding the requirements or if you are not 100% disabled simply clogs the system with applications which will be automatically denied.
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