Information on Social Security DisabilitySocial Security Disability or SSD, is a term used to describe government benefits you might receive if you become disabled and are no longer able to work. Because SSD can be tricky (for example, many people are denied Social Security Disability the first time they apply for it), it’s best to hire an experienced attorney skilled at helping clients apply for and obtain SSD benefits. Meanwhile, you can educate yourself on some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability.
1. How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?The SSD qualification process is complex, but the two main qualifications are:
- You must have worked a job that is covered by Social Security, and worked long enough to earn enough work credits. Generally, you can earn four work credits per year, and typically it takes 40 work credits to qualify for SSD benefits. However, if you don’t quite meet this requirement, an experienced SSD lawyer still might be able to get you approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
- You must have a qualifying medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability.
2. What Does the SSA Consider a “Disability” When It Comes to SSD Benefits?Generally, you’re considered disabled if your medical condition makes it so that:
- You can’t do the work you did before your medical condition.
- You can’t adjust to other types of work.
- Your disability is expected to last or has lasted for at least one year, and/or is expected to last for the rest of your life.
3. How Does the SSA Decide If I’m Disabled?The SSA has its own complex process for deciding if you’re disabled, but generally they consider whether or not:
- You’re currently employed and working.
- You have a severe medical condition.
- Your medical condition is included in the SSA’s list of disabling conditions. (The SSA and your attorney can go over this list with you.)
- You can still perform the work you were previously employed to perform.
- You’re able to perform some other type of work.
4. Are There Any Special Situations for SSD Benefits?Yes. Again, the SSA and your lawyer can go over these special situations with you in detail, but they include situations related to:
- Low vision or blindness.
- The widow or widower of the worker.
- Disabled child benefits (benefits for the child).
- Wounded warriors’ and veterans’ benefits.