Social Security Disability Eligibility
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 meet the plan’s definition of disability.
- 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.
At the Law Offices of Judith S. Leland, APLC, 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, hearing and appeals. We offer a free initial consultation and convenient office locations in Downey, Santa Ana and Ontario.
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, new Social Security regulations allow a more realistic look at age, education and experience in making this test.
Free Attorney Consultation – No Fees Unless We Win
To schedule an appointment with an experienced disability lawyer, call 1-562-219-4156, or toll free 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.