Social Security Disability - What is it and Can you qualify for it?
A few points were recently made in an online forum regarding how to qualify for social security disability and I thought I'd address them and elaborate on them.
One: Eligibility for social security disability begins with having worked enough quarters to insured for disability benefits. This is something that many, or most, claimants may not realize when they become sick or injured, but SSDI is a form of insurance. In fact, the acronym itelf stands for social security disability insurance. How do you become insured and eligible to file a claim for disability benefits under SSDI? Through your work activity and by having earned enough work credits.
To learn more about SSDI and work credits, visit this page: social security disability and work credits.
Two: If you don't have enough work credits to be eligible for social security disability, you can still file for SSI disability, provided you don't have countable assets in excess of $2000 (because SSI is a need based program, it has an asset limit.)
An Application for disability that is filed under the SSI program is handled in exactly the same manner after the application has been transferred from the social security office, where it was taken by an SSA claims rep, to the state disability processing agency (usually called DDS, or disability determination services) where it is assigned to a disability examiner.
Once the case becomes part of a disability examiner's caseload, medical records will be gathered and evaluated and then considered along with other factors--such as one's age, education, job skills, past work history--to determine whether or not a claim will be approved or denied.
Three: The social security administration definition of disability stipulates that, for a claimant to be approved for disability, their condition must last for at least twelve months, be expected to last at least that long, or be so severe that it may possibly result in death.
Four: The social security administration's two disability programs, SSDI and SSI, do not utilize concepts such as short-term disability, temporary disability, or partial disability. In short, social security disability and SSI are all or nothing programs. They do not award percentages of disability, and they do not award benefits for conditions that are temporary or short-term.
In other words, when an individual is awarded disability benefits, it is presumed that the condition may be lifelong (though the claimant will be subject to a periodic review of their disability case).
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