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Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2022 | Social Security Disability Benefits

This blog often discusses the health conditions that can make a person eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. This is a big and sometimes complicated subject. However, your health isn’t the only issue at work in the question of whether you are eligible for benefits.

The essentials

First, you must have worked in an Social Security covered job. Second, you must have a medical condition (injury, disease, etc.) that qualifies under Social Security’s definition of disability. If you qualify, then you receive benefits for at least a year, but at least until you are able to return to work. Though, there are some work incentives as you get closer to make that transition.

The work requirement

A Social Security covered job means that you paid Social Security taxes at your job or during self-employment. You can check your pay stubs and tax returns for this. In addition, you must have worked for the covered long enough to have paid the minimum amount of money required. These payments earn workers credits, and you can earn up to four credits each year. This year, each credit is earned at $1,510 up to $6,040 for the four credits, but these credit requirements can change every year. As for time, usually, you need at least 40 credits, and 20 must be earned within the preceding 10 years, but this requirement changes with age.

Social Security’s definition of disability

Social Security’s definition of disability only applies to permanent disabilities, not short-term disabilities. You must not be able to engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition, and work adjustments will not and cannot help. This condition must have already lasted for a year, be expected to last for at least one year or it is expected to result in your death.

Approvals and denials

This may all seem straightforward and easy, but putting together your application packet can be confusing. In addition, even if it is put together correctly, applicants are still often denied. This means that most applicants have to file an appeal, which usually requires the help of a North Hollywood attorney.