Social Security can seem a bit daunting or difficult to understand, but its support of millions of Americans speaks for itself. Although the program existed in the background of your life until this point, you may now be facing a disability that brings new physical, mental, and financial hardship.
You need support, but are you eligible to receive it? Consider these factors to help determine if you may be qualified to apply.
Physical or mental condition
One eligibility criteria to qualify for Social Security disability benefits is a medical diagnosis that is included in the listing of specific medical impairments. These conditions significantly limit workers’ abilities to perform basic work, including walking and sitting. The program would determine if your diagnosis would result in death or last for one year at minimum, but the evaluation process also depends on how your condition affects your working abilities.
Job timeframe and tasks
Your employment would have to be recent and amassing a long enough duration to be eligible. If you paid Social Security taxes out of your paycheck, you have likely earned Social Security credits calculated based on your wages. You need 40 credits to qualify for coverage.
Additionally, you can consider how your condition has impacted your ability to complete your daily tasks. Can you adjust to other responsibilities in the workplace, or has your condition permanently inhibited your ability to work? Benefits are not payable for short-term disabilities, which worker’s compensation or other insurance may cover.
The program may also offer assistance for military Veterans, Wounded Warriors, workers who are blind or those experiencing vision problems that may prevent them from working. Perhaps you do not have an illness, but are you supporting a loved one who needs significant care? You may be eligible for benefits if you are the widow or widower of a disabled worker or if you have a disabled child.
Understanding your Social Security disability benefits eligibility can help serve as a positive step toward application success. If you are experiencing medical and financial adversity, help may be on its way.