Sometimes you may feel that applying for government benefits just adds to your pain. But these benefits can help you get the things you need in life. Let’s look at some of the reasons you should consider filing for Social Security disability insurance benefits.
#1. You are unable to work because of a severe medical condition.
One criterion for getting Social Security Disability Insurance benefits involves your health. To qualify, you must have a medical condition that prevents you from working. For example, many health problems are uncomfortable and painful, but they don’t prevent you from working. Arthritis is just one example. People may control their arthritis with medication until, at some point, they can no longer handle their regular job duties.
#2. Your condition meets Social Security Disability definition.
So, Social Security has developed a specific definition for disability:
“The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” (emphasis added)
You can’t just say that you have a disability. You have to be able to prove it. The first step involves the next point.
#3. Your condition appears on the Listing of Impairments.
Social Security maintains a lengthy, comprehensive list called the Listing of Impairments. But this list does not just include the names of all medical conditions. It also states what evidence Social Security needs to determine your disability status through medical evidence.
However, having a medical disorder on the listing of impairments is not the only criteria used to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
#4. You have earned enough work credits.
Your work history matters. People earn up to four work credits every year, one credit per a certain amount of wages. For example, in 2020, you earned one credit for each $1,410 in covered earnings.
However, a 30-year old who works full time will not have accumulated as many work credits as a 60-year old. So, Social Security developed a sliding scale based on age:
Before age 24 – 6 credits earned in the 3-year period before your disability started
Age 24 to 31 – credits for working at least half the time between age 21 and your disability.
Age 31 and up – at least 20 credits in the 10-years prior to becoming disabled.
Understanding whether you have enough work credits to file for Social Security disability insurance benefits can be challenging. Some of the credits have to be earned in the ten years before your disability’s onset. Younger workers face different rules about qualifying. It’s best to discuss your situation with an experienced Social Security disability attorney.
The final reason you might need Social Security Disability Insurance relates to providing for yourself and any dependents.
#5. You need to continue supporting yourself and/or your family.
Just because you can’t work doesn’t mean the bills stop coming. Losing your ability to earn money is particularly hard to take when you have people depending on you.
If you cannot work because of a medical condition, consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits. The application process can be challenging, but your benefits can make a huge difference in your life and your family members’ lives.
Ask a Disability Lawyer About Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Social Security Administration rules and regulations are not easy to understand. It can help to have someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.