Requirements to Qualify for Benefits:
Are you unsure the Social Security benefits available to you from the Social Security Administration?
Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits:
If you have worked at least 60 months (five years) out of the past ten years, you meet one of the requirements for applying for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD). People with serious disabilities who haven't been working may not be eligible to receive SSD benefits, but they may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income Benefits:
If you have not worked at least 60 months (five years) out of the last ten years, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be available to you. SSI benefits are for people who have not been working and who have limited income and resources. If you qualify for SSI you will also be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits. This is important for many individuals and families, since Medicaid can cover your medical expenses as well as some prescription drug bills, enabling you to use your SSI disability benefits for housing, clothes, and everyday needs. For these reasons, compiling and providing complete, extensive medical documentation of your disability and work history is essential.
Apart from employment history requirements, both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability have the same rules for eligibility.
Contact us today to see if you qualify.
Are You Disabled?
If you are disabled, the Social Security Administration will look to see if you have a listed impairment or, if not, where you fall on what is called the Social Security Administration's Grids or SSA GRIDS. The GRIDS takes into consideration your age, education, and skill level, as well as what level you are capable of in regards to physical exertion.
The definition of disability under Social Security differs from many other programs or agency definitions. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.
"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work. To determine whether you are disabled, the Social Security Administration uses a step-by-step process involving five questions:
1. Do you make less than $1,010 (before taxes) per month? If you do, go to question two. If you earn more than $1,010 per month, you generally are not considered for disability benefits.
2. Do you have a severe medical condition that affects your ability to work? Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. If it does not, the SSA will find that you are not disabled. If you do, go to question thre
3. Does your problem meet or equal one of the impairments on the government's listing of impairments? (To check the Social Security Administration list of medical conditions, click here: If you do, you are considered legally disabled by the Social Security Administration. If your condition does not appear in the Social Security Administration's listing, go to step four.
4. Can you perform the work you have done previously? If you can, you are not disabled. If you can't do the work you have previously done as indicated in your employment records, go to step five.
5. Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do the work you did in the past, the SSA will determine if you are able to adjust to other work. They consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved. If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.
Additionally, there are special conditions for people who are blind or have low vision, for widows and widowers, disabled children, and military service members.
Further information on eligibility for SSD and SSI can be found here.
- Social Security Disability Applications and Appeals Home Page
- Helpful Tips for Filing
- Stages of the Benefits Process
- After Your Application Is Denied
- How We Are Paid
- SSA GRIDS
- Information on the Social Security Administration's GRIDS
Contact an attorney at Papa & Roberts today for assistance with your application or knowledgeable guidance through the appeals process.