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Social Security Disability Benefits

Not just for retired people, Social Security can be the difference between affording food and shelter or not. People who are unable to work for at least a year or more because of health problems may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD).

If you or a family member has been ill and lost the ability to work, obtaining Social Security disability benefits can be crucial to survival. Sadly, it can be quite an ordeal for the average disabled citizen to receive the benefits they desperately need.

The process of applying for SSD can be long confusing and frustrating process. The bureaucratic process that was put in place to protect then system from fraud can also be a deterrent to those in the greatest need. Many claimants must appeal an initial denial and the waiting can affect one’s quality of life.

In the United States, the federal government has outlined the specific criteria that must be met before someone is declared eligible for SSD benefits. To seek the benefits, the claimant must be proven to be disabled or have a condition that prevents them from performing work or from gainful employment.

The Social Security Administration will require evidence that the claimant: 

  • Cannot do work that they could do prior to the disability
  • Has a disability that has, or is expected to last at least a year
  • Cannot simply adjust to another type to work or different employment due to the medical condition(s) or mental or physical problem

Qualification for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits requires that one must have a history of employment. As per the Social Security Administration website, “In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough — and recently enough — under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. In 2014, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,200 of wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $4,800, you’ve earned your four credits for the year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.”

The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits – and proving that you are qualified – can be a long and difficult journey. In fact, the Social Security Administration initially denies almost 7 out of 10 initial applicants, even though many are actually qualified. However, with an attorney, your odds of success will increase. Winslow Law will fight for you. There is no obligation, so contact us today.

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