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.
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:
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:
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.
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 702-570-0000 today.