September 21, 2019

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Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits falls solely at the discretion of the Social Security Administration, the federal body that governs all things related to the collection and disbursement of Social Security taxes. The Administration follows strict guidelines for determining who can receive benefits based on the applicant’s work history and specific injury.

Qualifications for SSDI

In order to file a Social Security Disability claim and receive benefits, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must have a long-term disability (lasting one year or longer) as defined by the Administration
  • Applicant should be considered fully disabled (as opposed to partially disabled)
  • Injured person must be unable to work due to the injury, or able to work part-time with earnings that fall below the earnings limit
  • Applicant’s disability must restrict basic physical or mental capabilities
  • Injured person must be unable to perform the work they did before the injury
  • Applicant must be are unable to do any type of replacement job

In addition to meeting the disability requirements, applicants should have earned enough work credits within a certain time period. Work credits are determined by your annual earnings and the amount of time you have been in the workforce. Your age at the time of disability will mandate how many credits are needed. For example, if you are between the ages of 31 and 42 when you become disabled, you should have 20 Social Security credits.

There are also considerations for special situations, such as those involving disabled child benefits, widow or widower benefits, and expedited benefits for military service members.

Eligibility Doesn’t Guarantee Approval

If you feel you were wrongfully denied approval, you can file a series of appeals for Social Security Disability claims. Many people choose to enlist the help of a disability lawyer for the application and appeal processes to improve their chances of receiving benefits.

Attorneys who focus on Social Security Disability claims are knowledgeable regarding all facets of the system and are prepared to handle any complications with efficiency. They can assist you in the paperwork and filing procedures, as well as the collection of medical and other evidence needed to prove disability. When you select an attorney from, your lawyer will work swiftly to maximize your chance of approval or reconsideration in hopes of getting benefits started as soon as possible.

If you would like more information on Social Security Disability Insurance and the criteria for eligibility, please click here to find a disability law firm in your area.