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Understanding Social Security Disability benefits

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Not being able to work due to a disability makes it hard to pay bills. The Social Security Administration offers benefits for those who meet the requirements.

Not everyone unable to work is eligible for the program. If you have a disability that prevents you from working, keep in mind there is a work requirement as well as a disability one.

Eligibility requirements

According to the Social Security Administration, the first eligibility requirement is sufficient employment at a job in which you contributed to Social Security. Not only must you have earned enough credits, but you needed to earn half of them in the previous ten years.

The second requirement is that you need to have a medical condition that meets the definition of total disability. This disability must prevent you from working for at least one year.

Qualifying disabilities

If you meet the work requirements, you must also meet the disability requirement. Along with being unable to work for 12 months or longer, you must have a severe condition that prevents you from performing basic activities, such as sitting, standing, lifting and remembering. There are certain medical conditions that automatically qualify as a disability. If you do not see your condition listed, the SSA makes the severity determination. Your disability must prevent you from not only performing the job you normally do but also any other job.

Even if the SSA determines you have a qualifying disability, there is a waiting period of five months before you start receiving benefits. These benefits continue until you have regular work that makes sufficient income.