The government considers anyone who has paid Social Security taxes on their income insured, and these individuals can receive disability benefits. There are also laws in place to help those with a more limited income.
The biggest question about this program is the definition of disability and who is eligible. While every case is unique, here are the general criteria applied by the government.
Whether people have paid their Social Security taxes or not, they can receive disability benefits based on one definition of disability. Officially, the government considers anyone disabled if they cannot engage in a substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition that will either result in their death or last for more than one year.
Disabilities in children
Children are also subject to that definition. If they have a mental or physical condition that causes limitations in their ability to function and will cause their death or last more than one year, they can receive benefits.
Medically determinable impairments
Medically determinable impairments result from psychological or physical abnormalities that approved diagnostic tests can show. The tests must prove that the individual has an impairment, not just symptoms.
Local SSD offices or state offices are the ones who initially process disability claims. If there are any appeals, state offices or judges in the Office of Hearing Operations make appropriate determinations.
This information can further one’s understanding of SSD definitions and eligibility. To better understand, people should consider reading frequently asked questions or doing other research.