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A Simple Guide on Social Security Disability Benefits

There is a 5 month waiting period required before Social Security begins paying out approved disability benefits.

Even if you have a good chance of qualifying for disability benefits you don’t want to mess up your paperwork. An appeals process could make your wait for benefits last longer than those 5 months. 

Understanding the ins and outs of applying for a government program can be daunting. 

But there is a lot of help and great information available to those who are applying for disability insurance benefits. 

Read this simple guide on Social Security benefits to get started!

Summary of Social Security Disability Benefits

There are two types of Social Security benefits available:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 

An important distinction between these two benefits is “income” vs “disability insurance”.

SSI is income to help anyone over 65 and adults or children who qualify medically but do not have sufficient income. 

Think of SSDI as more of the Social Security insurance arm of the disability benefits. You have to meet work requirements showing you paid your “premiums” by paying your Social Security taxes for a certain amount of time. 

What Are the Requirements for Social Security Benefits?

The medical requirements for both SSI and SSDI are the same. SSDI has additional work requirements in order to qualify. 

Work Requirements

They will first try to determine if you have enough work history to qualify. As you worked throughout your life you earned a certain number of Social Security “work credits” each year based on income claimed on your taxes. 

You generally have to have a certain number of work credits based on your age to meet work requirements. And some of those credits have to have been earned within the year preceding your disability. 

What Is the Definition of Disability?

Social Security will not pay benefits for short-term disability. You can only qualify if:

  • You can’t do the work you currently do
  • You can’t adjust to a different kind of work
  • Your condition is expected to last for at least a year or result in your death

How Is Disability Determined?

Disability is determined based on the following questions:

  • Are you working?
  • Is your condition “severe?”
  • Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions?
  • Can you do the work you did before?
  • Can you do a different kind of work?

These questions sound subjective, but there are a lot of protocols that the Social Security caseworker who reviews your file will follow. 

There is a lot of potential to miss something as you apply for disability benefits. What you need to be successful is a good disability benefits attorney.

Get Help Applying for Disability Benefits

If you feel that you would qualify for disability benefits, don’t hesitate to get help. Navigating government paperwork can be stressful. 

Asking for help can make the process smoother, faster, and less stressful for you and your loved ones. 

Loved the information in this article? Check out other articles on our site for great information on a variety of topics!

There is a 5 month waiting period required before Social Security begins paying out approved disability benefits.

Even if you have a good chance of qualifying for disability benefits you don’t want to mess up your paperwork. An appeals process could make your wait for benefits last longer than those 5 months. 

Understanding the ins and outs of applying for a government program can be daunting. 

But there is a lot of help and great information available to those who are applying for disability insurance benefits. 

Read this simple guide on Social Security benefits to get started!

Summary of Social Security Disability Benefits

There are two types of Social Security benefits available:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 

An important distinction between these two benefits is “income” vs “disability insurance”.

SSI is income to help anyone over 65 and adults or children who qualify medically but do not have sufficient income. 

Think of SSDI as more of the Social Security insurance arm of the disability benefits. You have to meet work requirements showing you paid your “premiums” by paying your Social Security taxes for a certain amount of time. 

What Are the Requirements for Social Security Benefits?

The medical requirements for both SSI and SSDI are the same. SSDI has additional work requirements in order to qualify. 

Work Requirements

They will first try to determine if you have enough work history to qualify. As you worked throughout your life you earned a certain number of Social Security “work credits” each year based on income claimed on your taxes. 

You generally have to have a certain number of work credits based on your age to meet work requirements. And some of those credits have to have been earned within the year preceding your disability. 

What Is the Definition of Disability?

Social Security will not pay benefits for short-term disability. You can only qualify if:

  • You can’t do the work you currently do
  • You can’t adjust to a different kind of work
  • Your condition is expected to last for at least a year or result in your death

How Is Disability Determined?

Disability is determined based on the following questions:

  • Are you working?
  • Is your condition “severe?”
  • Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions?
  • Can you do the work you did before?
  • Can you do a different kind of work?

These questions sound subjective, but there are a lot of protocols that the Social Security caseworker who reviews your file will follow. 

There is a lot of potential to miss something as you apply for disability benefits. What you need to be successful is a good disability benefits attorney.

Get Help Applying for Disability Benefits

If you feel that you would qualify for disability benefits, don’t hesitate to get help. Navigating government paperwork can be stressful. 

Asking for help can make the process smoother, faster, and less stressful for you and your loved ones. 

Loved the information in this article? Check out other articles on our site for great information on a variety of topics!

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