How do I know whether I qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?
You must be totally disabled to be eligible to receive for Social Security Disability (SSD) payments. This is defined as having an injury or illness that prevents you from doing any “substantial gainful work” and that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months, or to result in your death. You must also have earned wages and paid into the Social Security system at some point.
To obtain benefits, you must demonstrate that your medical condition significantly limits your ability to do basic work activities, and has or will do so for at least 12 months. You will be required to show that you cannot do the work you did prior to your injury or illness, and that you cannot adjust to other work because of your disability.
The Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments describes impairments that are considered severe enough to prevent an adult from doing any gainful activity. If your medical condition matches a listed impairment, you should receive SSD with no further inquiry.
Next you must qualify under two earnings tests: you must have worked “recently” and you must have worked long enough under Social Security. The amount of time necessary to meet each requirement increases according to your age at the time of disability. If you are 31 years or older, for example, you must have worked five of the last 10 years.
At Becker Law Office, we know the ins-and-outs of the Social Security Disability program. We will do everything possible to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.