The process to qualify for Social Security Benefits (SSB) can be difficult to understand due to the strictness of the qualifying rules, one slip-up could cause you the befits you deserve. Benefits are payed monthly to those disabled to a level that impairs their ability to work for a year or more.
The benefits will often continue until you’re able to return to work indefinitely. Work incentives, or “special rules,” are in place to provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help aid your transition back into the workforce.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) adheres to a very defined description of disabled. First, the SSA states they only provide benefits to those who are “totally disabled.”
What is total disability?
That term seems unclear, doesn’t it? The SSA does not like to pay benefits for partial or short-term disability. This is where a disability claims lawyer can come in handy. According to the SSA, to receive benefits, you:
- Must be unable to perform the work you were doing before your disability
- You are unable to adjust to other work due to your disability
- Your disability has affected or will affect you for one year or more – or your condition will eventually result in death
Do I qualify?
If you meet the requirements, the SSA has another process they follow to decide if you deserve your benefits. This process involves five steps. If you pass the first, the SSA proceeds to the second step and so on.
- If you are working, your average monthly earnings cannot exceed $1,220.
- Your disability must make it extremely difficult to perform basic work duties like standing, walking, sitting, lifting and remembering.
- Your disability, found and cited in the SSA list is severe enough to prevent you from performing work-related activities. Some cases, like those involving pancreatic cancer or acute leukemia will often qualify for benefits as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed.
- You must not be able to perform the work your previous job required.
- Your disability deems you unable to perform any other style of work. To determine this, the SSA considers your condition, age, education, past work experience and transferable skills.
There are other “special situations” that can carry different rules than those outlined above.
A disability is tough to deal with. Those with deep knowledge of the situation can help you receive the benefits you deserve.