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How to know if you qualify for Social Security Disability

Many St. Louis residents have heard about Social Security Disability Insurance, but you may not know much about it beyond the fact that it provides financial assistance to individuals who have disabilities. Understanding some of the basics about SSDI, however, can come in handy if you are ever severely injured or disabled. 

In order to qualify for disability benefits, there are several requirements an individual must meet. First, in the 10 years before becoming disabled, a person must have worked at least five years. Additionally, if you have not worked for at least a quarter of your life as an adult, you cannot qualify. If you have been able to work some, you must be making less than $1,040 a month to be considered for SSD benefits. 

Along with work requirements, an individual applying for SSD must also meet several medical requirements. A certified medical specialist of some type must be able to provide evidence that you have suffered a severe disability that will last for a year or longer and substantially limit or eliminate your ability to work now or in the future.

For many people, Social Security Disability Insurance provides the financial assistance they need to get by. However, the application process can take months to complete. Because of this, it is important to apply as soon as possible. If gathering all of the material you need to complete an application becomes overwhelming, or if your first application is rejected, some people have found it helpful to work with an attorney who can help guide them through the process.

Source: Center for American Progress, "The Facts on Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income for Workers with Disabilities," Shawn Fremstad and Rebecca Vallas, May 30, 2013

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