Serving the Western United States
Social Security Disability (SSD) was created to provide financial assistance to those who cannot work because of a debilitating medical condition. A qualifying disability means that a person is not able to perform “any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment,” according to the Social Security Act. This disability must have lasted or is anticipated to last a year or longer, or is expected to result in death.
If you become disabled and are no longer able to perform your job responsibilities, it is important that you file a disability claim at once. These claims take awhile to process, and you do not want to jeopardize your eligibility by filing too late. It is also crucial that you present a strong case and ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements; otherwise your claim will be rejected immediately.
About 70 percent of applicants who file their initial SSD benefits claim are rejected. Therefore, it is a good idea to utilize the help of a qualified Social Security Disability benefits attorney. An experienced benefits attorney understands what the Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for on benefit applications, and can help you properly prepare your claim before you first apply, or for an appeal.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
In order to receive SSD benefits, you must have a documented physical or mental health condition that prevents you from working a full-time job for a minimum of 12 months. A number of other factors will come into play when determining your eligibility, such as:
- Severity and type of medical condition
- Your age
- The expected duration of your medical condition
- Past work experience
- Length of time you have been contributing to Social Security
- Your education
- Whether you are able to work a different type of job
Types of Benefits
There are five different categories of Social Security Disability benefits. The most important one is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for anyone who has worked at least five out of the past 10 years, and is now disabled and unable to work. There is also Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits that are issued to low-income individuals who are disabled (even if they have never worked before). Disabled children are included in SSI benefits if they are under age 18 and have low-income parents or guardians.
Disabled Widow(er) benefits are paid to any disabled person between the ages of 50 and 60 who has lost a spouse who was insured by Social Security. Disabled Adult Child Benefits may be issued to a disabled child (who suffered the disability before age 22), or whose deceased parents were collecting SSD or retirement benefits.
If you believe you are entitled to SSD benefits, please contact the experienced Social Security Disability benefit attorneys at Law Offices of Fred J. Fleming today.