What is Social Security Disability and who may qualify?
Social Security Disability (“SSD“) is a federal insurance program designed to provide income to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed i.e. they are totally disabled and unable to work.
Others who may receive benefits are:
Blind workers; children of blind or disabled workers; widow(er)s; adults disabled since childhood.
There are several factors that must be satisfied in order for a person to qualify for SSD:
- A claimant must have worked at job(s) covered by Social Security and paid taxes into the system;
- The claimant must have worked at least five of the preceding ten years from the alleged onset date, at a job covered by Social Security (the Social Security Administration refers to it as having worked “twenty (20) of the previous forty (40) quarters.”)
- The claimant must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of a disability. This definition is very strict and only applies to total disabilities, not partial or short term disabilities. A claimant is considered totally disabled if:
- a. they have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from engaging in any “substantially gainful activity,” and
- b. their disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year from the alleged onset date or result in death.
- they are under the age of 65 (Under retirement age)
If a claimant meets this heavy burden, then the claimant will receive monthly cash benefits——–the more they paid into the system, the more they get. Moreover, these benefits will continue until a claimant is able to work again on a regular basis, or they reach full retirement age and the disability benefits will automatically convert to retirement benefits. Medicare kicks in after the person receives benefits for two years.
Be careful: Not all companies and persons who represent claimants applying for SSDB are attorneys! An experienced SSD attorney is the best choice to help claimants who have been denied SSD, receive the benefits they deserve.
Dan’s Social Security Tip of the Day
I belong to a wonderful organization called “NOSSCR” (National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives) which is based in New Jersey but which services the entire country. It is made up of the attorneys and others who specialize in handling Social Security Disability (“SSDB”) claims. When hiring an attorney or representative for a SSDB claim, always ask if he or she is a member of NOSSCR. If the answer is no, I suggest you hire someone else who is.
I will be attending NOSSCR’s semi-annual convention and conference in Washington D.C. over a four-day period this May.