Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD) program was put in place to help those that are disabled and cannot work. If you think that you may be able to benefit from this program it is important to know how to determine if you qualify for SSDI since the rules are very specific in determining your eligibility.

Are you eligible for SSD benefits?

One of the most important elements is a past work history. You cannot make a claim if you have not worked at jobs that are covered by Social Security. This would exclude jobs “under the table” or any where you did not have taxes taken out such as side jobs or work where someone paid you cash and you did not claim it.

After you have worked eligible jobs you start earning credits that are used for these benefits. For instance, according to the government’s website: “Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled.”

Although the numbers do vary from year to year, an example is that you earn a credit for every $1,160 of wages and this does include the self-employed as well.

Disability Requirements

As far as the actual disability, this is where it can get tricky. First of all, you cannot receive benefits if you are only disabled for a short term or for a partial disability. The law states that you must not be able to perform the work you did in the past, you cannot perform other work that you adjusted to and your disability has to last for at least 12 months or until death. What this means is that if you worked as a construction foreman and are now in a wheelchair and can perform desk work, you may not qualify since you can adjust to another form of employment but you may be entitled to some benefits.

There are specific eligibility requirements that is used to determine eligibility as well such as the severity of your disability, if you are working now and there is a list of what is considered disabling conditions. Some examples include cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Speak with an experienced SSD attorney to learn your options

There are special allowances made for unique situations and those may not necessarily fall under the extreme rules of the SSDI program. These can include those that are blind, situations where the you are the widow or widower of the worker, wounded warriors and parents of disabled children.