A lot of us are in the habit of taking our health for granted. Maybe we don’t feel like going to work on Monday morning, but we forget to be thankful for the fact that we are physically able to work and financially support ourselves and our families. Then one day, we become injured, ill or stricken with a disease and suddenly, we are taken aback because we can no longer work. Our whole life comes to a pause.
Many different types of injuries and illnesses prevent us from working, such as clinical depression, quadriplegia, congestive heart failure, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), advanced kidney disease and cancer. Then there are chronic conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), bipolar disorder, and vision problems that can be mild at first, but advance until they become entirely disabling.
For example, a veteran could have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after being shot by the enemy in combat. After receiving an honorable discharge, the veteran tries to rejoin civilian life. Upon being at his new job for a couple of weeks, his co-workers notice that he’s easily startled, that he’s always on edge and that he tends to have angry outbursts, which are getting more frequent.
While these signs of PTSD were infrequent at first, day-by-day they intensified to the point where the veteran was perceived as a danger to the environment, and he was let go. Unfortunately, his symptoms only worsened until one day he realized that he was incapable of working because of his PTSD. This veteran may become eligible for disability benefits, even though outwardly he seems fine, but he isn’t.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability
The Social Security Disability Program is administered by the Social Security Administration and funded by Social Security taxes, which are taken out of workers’ paychecks. Since SSD is a government program, it has strict eligibility requirements. In order for someone to qualify for disability benefits, they must meet the following criteria:
- They must have a mental or physical disability.
- The disability must prevent the person from engaging in meaningful work.
- The disabling condition must be expected to last for one year or longer, or result in death.
- They must have worked long enough and paid enough Social Security taxes.
Suppose you apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Before the SSA decides if you are disabled, it will ask the following questions: Are you currently working? Is your impairment severe? Can you engage in lighter, easier or modified work? Is your disability on the Listing of Impairments? Can you do any type of work you did in the past? The answers to these questions will impact the agency’s decision about your application.
Do you wish to apply for disability benefits? For professional legal advice and guidance, contact our firm to meet with a Dallas Social Security Disability lawyer.