Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must first meet two main requirements. You must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security, in which Social Security “tax” was deducted from your paycheck and you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security's definition of disability. In general, you are considered disabled if you are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.
Meeting the Work Requirement
You must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Under Social Security, you earn work credits based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
Meeting the Disability Requirement
This is the strict definition of disability set forth by the Social Security Administration. You are considered disabled under Social Security rules if all the following are true:
- You cannot do work that you did before because of your medical condition.
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
What to do if you feel you meet these requirements but were still denied Social Security Disability
If you feel that you meet the requirements set forth above but have been denied Social Security Disability you must act quickly. You have only 60 days from the date you were denied to file an Appeal. The appeals process can be tricky for anyone, especially for someone who is dealing with a medical disability whether it is a physical impairment or a mental health disability. Hiring an experienced attorney to walk you through the appeals process is very important. Attorneys charge a contingent fee in these cases so you will owe nothing upfront and nothing unless you win. If you have been denied Social Security Disability, do not hesitate. Call an experienced attorney today.
William Aldred is a Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist practicing at the Aldred Law Firm and is licensed in Tennessee and Kentucky.