Social Security Disability Basics To Know Before Applying

Posted on: 30 May 2018

When something drastic happens in your life that prevents you from working, whether it's an injury or an illness, you may have the ability to claim Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, unlike retirement benefits, you have to apply and be approved for these. The application process is strict, and you must meet a highly specific series of guidelines. If you're thinking about applying for social security disability, here are a few things that you should know.

Your Injury Or Illness Must Be Significant

In order to obtain a disabled declaration from Social Security, your condition must meet specific criteria in terms of severity. It must be something so severe that it prevents you from being able to work in your field at all. Further, it has to prevent you from being able to learn and do any other type of work.

The claims representative who evaluates your case will often send you to a vocational counselor to make sure that you don't have any other skills that you would be able to make use of despite your condition. Unless the vocational counselor can confirm that you wouldn't be able to work in any other role, you may not qualify for disability benefits.

Your Injury Must Be A Long-Term One

Another thing that is taken into consideration during your claim is how long your illness or injury is expected to last. If your medical team or the medical evaluator from Social Security determine that you will recover within a year's time, you won't be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. In those cases, you may be able to claim short-term disability benefits if you carry a policy for it through your work or your personal insurance company.

You Must Have Enough Accumulated Credit

Social Security disability benefits are awarded based on your work credits for previous years. You'll have to have sufficient work credits in the last decade before you file, otherwise you won't qualify for any benefits even if you meet all of the other criteria. Your Social Security office can provide you with your earnings credit history if you're not sure that you have earned enough. In addition, with those credit details, they can also tell you what the maximum amount is that you might earn if you're awarded benefits.

These are all key facts to consider before you decide to file for Social Security disability. If you think you might qualify, you can also reach out to a disability attorney from a place like Parmele Law Firm, PC for more information.