For many people who cannot work due to mental or physical problems, it can seem that there will be no way for you to support yourself or your family. If you cannot work, then you cannot pay for housing, food, transportation, and so on. However, if you are hurt or disabled and cannot work, what can you do? Social Security benefits are out there to help those that cannot work any longer. There are some requirements that you have to meet to be eligible for Social Security benefits or Social Security disability. Here are ways to find out if you qualify:
Have you worked in jobs that have paid Social Security in the past? To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have first worked in jobs that were covered by Social Security. These jobs were ones that took out taxes as well as Social Security from each check you received from them. As you work in these types of jobs, you earn Social Security credits. Depending on how long you worked, you can earn up to four (4) credits per year. The amount that you earned for credits changes each year according to wages and income.
How long did you work in a Social Security eligible job? To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked long enough in a job that provides you with Social Security credits. Normally, you need to have at least 40 Social Security benefits credits, with 20 of them being earned in the last 10 years. Do not let this discourage you though; younger workers can qualify with fewer credits. If you are curious about how many Social Security credits you will need, see our article here.
Under Social Security, the definition of disability is a bit different than with other areas, such as insurance. Social Security does not pay for partial or temporary disabilities, only total disabilities are covered. Social Security defines “disability” based on whether you are able to work or not. They consider the following items as qualifying you as disabled:
You cannot work in the same line of work as you did before;
Social Security decides that you cannot take on other types of work because of your medical condition; AND
Your disability is expected (or has) lasted for one year or will result in death.
Social Security has a list of medical conditions that are considered so severe that they automatically qualify you as disabled. You can find their extensive Social Security disability list on their website here. If your disability is not on the list, then Social Security will decide if it is equal to one of the conditions that is on the list. If they determine that it is, then they will find that you are disabled. If they determine that it is not equal to one of the conditions on the list, there are more steps that they, and you, will go through.
Can you perform the work you did previously or do any other type of work? Social Security will look at these factors in determining if you are disabled or not.
There are some special situations that apply to some applicants for Social Security disability benefits. These special situations include: blindness, low vision, the widow or widower of the worker, disabled child, and wounded veterans.
If you have any questions or concerns, please give our offices a call at (918) 582-2500.
Curious if you have worked enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits? Read our article titled “How Many Social Security Credits Do I Need For Disability Benefits?”
Articles on A-Vlaw.com are not intended to take the place of professional legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact our offices for a free consultation at (918) 582 – 2500.