If you are disabled and unable to work, you may be eligible to receive social security disability benefits. The application process and qualification requirements is complicated, but the benefits are designed to be there as a safety net for qualified people who need them.
If you are considering applying for social security disability, or if you have already applied but were denied coverage, here are three important things to know:
1. Definition of “disability”. While a disability income insurance policy provided by your employer or purchased through your insurance agent may offer coverage for short-term disabilities or partial disabilities, the social security administration uses a strict definition of “disability” that excludes many disabilities covered under private insurance. To qualify for social security disability benefits, your disability must be expected to last one year or more, or expected to result in your death) that prevents you from working in any occupation.
2. Qualifying and applying for benefits. In order to qualify for benefits, not only must you meet the social security administration’s definition of “disabled”, but you must also have worked enough to have earned enough “credits” for coverage. The number of credits needed varies depending on your age.
3. How long benefits last: Just as private disability income insurance benefits do not last forever, neither do social security disability benefits. Generally, social security disability benefits last for the length of the disability or until full retirement age (as defined by social security). At that point, benefits will convert to social security retirement benefits.
The rules are nuanced and complex, and are best explained and handled by attorneys with experience in social security disability claims. For help evaluating your case, or with assistance through the application or appeals process, please contact our office for a case evaluation.