You may have heard about Social Security Disability in the past, or you may know someone who is receiving disability benefits but assumed this program would never apply to you. Unfortunately, things happen in our daily lives that are beyond our control and may prevent us from earning an income.
What is Social Security disability?
Social Security disability is a federal program that provides assistance to people with mental or physical disabilities. If you are unable to work due to a severe physical or mental impairment you should consider applying for disability benefits to help you through this tough time. If you have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes, you may be eligible for benefits.
Why should I apply for benefits?
1. If you have a severe physical or mental impairment:
Social Security requires an individual to show that he or she has a medical condition
that significantly limits his/her physical or mental ability to perform basic work
activities. Basic work activities include general tasks and abilities used to complete
most job requirements. Your medical condition(s) must be severe enough that it
significantly limits your ability to perform those basic work activities.
It is up to the individual to prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that
they have a severe impairment. The main way to prove you have a severe
impairment is through medical treatment. The only medical records the SSA will
consider are those pertaining to your period of disability. For example, if you are
claiming you became unable to work as of December 1, 2011, you would need
medical records to show a severe impairment existed during that time period.
Some of the most common impairments include:
Auto-Immune Disorders (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, lupus)
Mental illness (i.e. bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and post
traumatic stress disorder)
Chronic Pain (i.e. fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain syndrome)
Digestive Disorders (i.e. inflammatory bowel syndrome)
Heart Conditions (i.e coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias)
Neurological Disorders (i.e. brain injury, narcolepsy, seizure disorder, Multiple sclerosis,
Orthopedic Conditions (i.e. osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome)
Respiratory illness (i.e. asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema)
If you have received consistent recent medical treatment for one of these disorders you should consider applying for Social Security disability benefits.
2. Your condition is expected to last for a year or longer.
To be found disabled, you must meet the durational requirement, showing that
your severe physical or mental impairment prevents you from working and is
expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. This 12-month requirement
starts counting at your alleged onset date (the date you are alleging you became
unable to work). To apply for disability you do not necessarily need to have been out\
of work for 12 months; you just need to show that your severe impairment is
expected to last 12 months resulting in an ability to work.
If your impairment prevents you from working for 4 months but then dramatically
improves allowing you to return to work, you will most likely not be eligible for
disability benefits. If you have been unable to work for the past 12 months or expect
to be unable to work for a 12-month continuous period due to the severity of your
physical or mental impairment, you should consider applying for Social Security
3. Your condition prevents you from working and earning more than $1,040 per month.
The SSA has determined that if an individual is earning a certain salary per month,
they are considered as engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). If an individual
is engaging in SGA they will not be eligible for payment of disability benefits. The
monthly SGA amount for 2013 is $1,040. This amount is different for blind
individuals. The magic monthly number for year 2013 is $1,040. If your impairment
prevents you from working and earning more than $1,040 per month, you should
consider applying for Social Security disability benefits.
For more information in obtaining benefits, fill out our free evaluation to see if you are eligible for benefits: http://bit.ly/Free-SSD-Evaluation