Understanding Social Security Disability Eligibility
Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits may seem daunting. Conversely, it may seem easy to “self-diagnose” whether or not you qualify for these important benefits. The eligibility requirements are set in the law, and serve as the framework for the Social Security Disability process. Understanding the gateway requirements is only the first step for a successful claim.
Social Security Disability (also known as Title II) is a benefit program for disabled workers covered by Social Security. You are eligible for this program if:
- You have contributed to Social Security for a specified period of time (usually five out of the last 10 years) and you have a disabling condition, or combination of conditions, that keep you from working in any regular paying job for at least 12 months.
- You are the disabled widow, widower or divorced spouse of a Social Security wage earner.
- You have not yet graduated from high school and a parent is receiving benefits.
Note that disabling conditions include physical and/or mental health impairments. We will review all aspects of your situation to help you to understand eligibility requirements and the entire social security disability application process. We work hard to fight to obtain benefits for clients.
A Full-Service Law Firm Helping People Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits
At Leland Law, our lawyers help people obtain benefits from Social Security Disability in Southern California. We represent clients at all stages of the claims process, from initial application to reconsideration, hearings and appeals. Based in Whittier, California, we serve clients in Ontario, Downey and Los Angeles. To learn more about how we can guide you through the process, call 1-866-764-0321. Initial consultations are free and there are no fees unless and until we obtain disability benefits compensation for you.
Social Security’s Definition of Disability
To be eligible for Social Security Disability, you must have physical or mental problems severe enough to keep you from working in any regular paying job for at least 12 months. You are also eligible if you have a combination of impairments — such as a back injury and depression — that keeps you from working. Disability due to drug and alcohol addiction is not covered. However, certain physical or mental conditions as a result of a prior drug or alcohol addiction may be covered.
In determining whether you are disabled, the test is not whether you would be offered a regular paying job, but whether there are jobs which you could perform. With certain exceptions, you have to stop working to be eligible to receive disability benefits. Ask one of our lawyers to find out if you meet one of these exceptions.
If you are currently receiving workers’ compensation, you should be aware that the definition of disability is different under the two programs. Workers’ compensation pays benefits if you are unable to perform your current job. To receive Social Security Disability, you must be unable to perform any job.
If you are over age 50 and seeking disability benefits, new Social Security regulations allow a more realistic look at age, education and experience in qualifying under the eligibility process.
Free Attorney Consultation – No Fees Unless We Win
To schedule an appointment with an experienced disability lawyer, call our Southern California office in Whittier at 1-866-764-0321, or fill out our simple contact form. There are no consultation fees and we charge no attorney’s fee unless we help you obtain disability benefits.