5 FAQ’s About SS Disability

June 9, 2013

Tech Tips

When one is unable to work due to disability, he or she may wonder how they will pay the bills. SS disability can help.

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It provides income to people who are unable to work due to disability. When a person is inquiring about SS disability, he or she may have many questions.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for SS disability, one must have a physical or mental condition which prevents any substantial gainful employment. The condition must last a minimum of one year, or be expected to result in death. The Social Security Administration has strict guidelines of qualifying disabilities, and requires medical evidence to prove that the applicant cannot be gainfully employed due to the disability. Periodic reviews are conducted after benefits are awarded to ensure that one is still unable to work.

Is a work history required?

In order to be eligible for disability benefits, an individual must have worked 5 out of the past 10 years. If the applicant does not have enough years of work experience, he or she may be eligible for SSI instead. SSI is a related welfare program which has different requirements than Social Security Disability.

Is there an age limit?

Individuals must be under the age of 65 years old.

How much money can an eligible individual receive?

The amount received can vary by claim. The SSA will take into account many factors, including household size, income, and assets. In 2013 the monthly benefit amount was $710.

What is the procedure for applying for SS disability?

Interested individuals should fill out an online application and make an appointment at the local SSA office. Applicants will need to have names, address, and phone numbers of doctors who can verify their medical condition, as well as a full medical history. In addition, it is very common for the SSA to require applicants to have a medical evaluation with a SSA physician. The SSA will make a decision if the applicant meets the criteria to receive Social Security Disability benefits. If the application is denied, the individual can appeal. Individuals who have their application denied should not lose hope. It is common for individuals to be denied initially, only to later be approved for benefits after a hearing.

The road to getting Social Security Disability benefits can be a long one; in certain cases taking years. Patience, excellent record keeping, and a positive attitude are indispensable during this journey. Once benefits are awarded, individuals can better focus on their health, knowing that they have a financial safety net.

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