Qualifying for SSD Benefits
Are You Eligible to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial assistance
and medical benefits to individuals who are unable to work and earn a
living. In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, applicants
must meet certain requirements, file applications and paperwork, and be
declared "disabled" by the SSA. Our legal team at Shook &
Stone can help you through each step of the process.
If you or someone you know is looking to file a
SSD claim, one of the first things you should do is understand how the Social Security
Administration decides if you are disabled.
Meeting the SSA's Definition of "Disabled"
The Social Security Administration uses a different definition of "disability"
than what most people would use. This definition revolves around the idea
that Social Security will only pay benefits to people with total disabilities.
Individuals with partial or short-term disabilities cannot receive SSD
benefits. Veterans, however, may be able to obtain partial benefits from
the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The SSA uses a strict definition of disability that is based on your ability
to work and earn wages. You will be considered disabled if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition; and
- You have a verifiable medical condition / disability expected to last at
least one year or result in death.
In addition to meeting this definition, Social Security will also use a
step-by-step process consisting of five questions to decide if you're
disabled. These questions are:
- Are you currently working?
- Is your condition considered severe?
Is you medical condition found in the SSA's
list of disabling conditions?
- Can you perform the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
In addition to meeting Social Security's definition of disability,
you must also meet work requirements.
You must have worked long enough, and recently enough, to qualify for disability
benefits. Social Security will determine if you meet work requirements by assigning
work credits that are based on your total yearly wages or income. The
amount of income for a credit changes annually and you can earn up to
four credits each year.
The number of total credits needed to meet the work requirement will depend
on your age when you became disabled. Typically, you will need 40 total
credits – and 20 credits within the past 10 years – to qualify.
There are exceptions, including younger workers who may qualify with fewer
credits. Our Social Security disability lawyers can help you determine
if you meet the work requirements.
Request a FREE Case Evaluation Today
At Shook & Stone, we've helped numerous clients through the Social
Security disability claim process, and we know that beginning this application
process can be a challenge. That's why were available to help you
understand your rights and whether you qualify for benefits. You can learn
more about the process and how our firm can help by speaking to one of
our Las Vegas Social Security disability attorneys during a free consultation.
To request a free consultation, call 888-662-2013 today.