Social Security Disability is a federal program that provides benefits and aid to people who are suffering from a disability which prevents them from maintaining substantial employment that allows them to live a quality life. Often, individuals with severe disabilities are unable to carry out basic work related tasks for which they are qualified and are, thus, unable to obtain the financial resources necessary for day to day life. Today, over 60,000 Americans are receiving Social Security benefits that give them the opportunity to live without the day to day stress of providing for yourself and family financially.
The law states that individuals who have a condition that fully prevents them from working and who meet certain qualifications may be qualified to receive benefits, either through Social Security disability insurance or supplemental security income. Those who do qualify for disability benefits must go through the process of applying for benefits and providing the government with sufficient information and evidence of their disability before they will be approved for benefits and start receiving money.
Qualifying for SSDI and SSI
Both Social Security disability insurance and supplemental security income have fairly strict requirements that people must meet in order to receive the benefits. For Social Security disability insurance, there are two separate qualifications you must meet in order to be eligible. The first is that you must be suffering from a disabling condition that keeps you from earning more than $1,000 a month. This is called the level of Substantial Gainful Activity. Additionally, this condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least one year.
Additionally, a person must have earned enough work credits throughout their lifetime of working. This work credits stipulation is slightly different for young adults (under the age of 31) who may have fewer credits, become qualified based on time worked, or use parent’s work credits. Generally, a person must have received the minimum of 40 credits within the previous ten years. Typically this means you have worked a total of five combined years out of the previous ten and paid social security taxes.
Qualifying for supplemental security income is a bit more straightforward as a person must be over 65 and legally blind or suffer from a permanent disability. Furthermore, a single person’s total income and assets must be less than $2,000 and a family’s must be less than $3,000.
Seeking Legal Representation
For a number of reasons, the Social Security Administration is extremely selective, denying up to 60% of initial applicants and over 80% of applications and appeals each year. Fortunately for those seeking the support that Social Security disability can provide, there are many skilled legal professionals who are knowledgeable about the entire process and many complexities of Social Security and may be able to help.