May 11, 2021

How to Get Social Security Disability

There are many ways to be disabled and unable to earn an income, short- or long-term. Social Security Disability is just one option available to help ensure you have a financial cushion when you are unable to work yourself. But it is not intended to serve as a primary source of income if you become disabled.

First, it’s up to the federal government to decide if you meet the definition of “disabled” and the application review process can take months to complete.

Many people have disability benefits through their employer’s insurance program as well as Worker’s Compensation benefits, and eligibility requirements for both can differ. If you’re disabled, how do you qualify to receive Social Security Disability, as well?

Qualifications for Social Security Disability

To earn disability income through the Social Security Disability program you are required to provide detailed information on your physical and mental capacities as they relate to your job and the ability to perform it, as well as submit to a comprehensive evaluation of your eligibility to receive disability income. You must have or be able to provide:

  • History of employment that entitles you to collect Social Security benefits
  • Disability that keeps you from your job for a year or more
  • Disability with sufficient severity or debilitation
  • Under $1,000 a month income
  • Clear evidence that your disability and/or medical condition significantly impacted your work, duties, and on-the-job responsibilities—physical, mental, cognitive, etc.
  • Age and education information. What if you had additional training and could perform another job closely related to the one you had? Your ability to be prepared to perform another job adequately, depends on your age, says the government. Age becomes a useful metric for narrowing down your eligibility for disability: Under 50 and you adjust more swiftly; but past your early 50s and your ability to adapt to new jobs and situations diminishes, which means you may or may not qualify.

The government determines your eligibility for Social Security Disability using the following tools:

  • A list of disabilities and conditions that pre-qualify you. Serious medical conditions that will likely lead to death and severe impairment are included.
  • A series of questions that can help them determine if you qualify based on many of the requirements listed above.
  • Rigorous application process that distills your actual abilities, which can help determine if you are prepared to perform a job at all.

Case Reviews

If you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability, the government will review your continued eligibility anywhere from every six months to three years depending on your initial assessment and expectations that your disability has the potential to improve, remain unchanged, or get worse.

Remember to supply only the most accurate information. To offer incorrect or misleading information for purposes of defrauding the federal government is a serious offense.

For detailed information on Social Security Disability and how to apply, visit the Social Security Administration website (http://www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm ).


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