If you’ve been hurt and can no longer work, you may be in the position to file for Social Security Disability benefits. SSD is designed to help people who are unable to work because of a terminal illness or serious disability that is expected to last 12 months or longer.
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are federally funded. The program is run by the Social Security Administration and will cover you with benefit payments if you qualify based on your injury or illness and past work record.
Did you know that a 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of suffering from a disability and becoming disabled prior to reaching retirement? With that in mind, you may be interested in learning more about what it takes to qualify for SSD.
What are the Social Security Disability program requirements?
To qualify, you need to show that:
- You are younger than retirement age.
- You meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability based on the SSA’s handbook.
- You do not have a partial disability or a disability that is temporary (short-term).
- You cannot work due to a medical condition that will result in death or is expected to last at least 12 months.
As of August 2015, over 10 million people benefit from the Social Security Disability program.
How do you apply for Social Security Disability benefits?
To apply, you may need to appear at your local Social Security office. You may also apply through an online application or call to file an application over the phone.
While many people don’t work with an attorney to apply for SSD, it’s possible to work with them on your initial application and if you need to appeal a decision made by the Social Security Administration. When you work with someone who is already familiar with the information needed by the SSA, it may be easier to submit a complete application with all the information that the SSA needs.
If you do receive a rejection letter and are denied benefits, you may also want to reach out to an attorney to understand more about the denial. There are many reasons why you may be denied SSD benefits, but receiving a denial doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to receive benefits on appeal. In fact, many people receive denials upon their first application, so it is worth your time to look into an appeal.