So many Americans become disabled by the time they reach age 50. Whether it’s from an accident, an illness or a disabling disease, it’s a serious issue that affects people’s ability to financially support themselves and their families. Because of this pressing issue, Americans are required to pay Social Security taxes, which not only help them during the retirement years, but help them if they become disabled to the point where they can no longer work.
If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to meet two requirements: 1) you must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability, and 2) you must have worked long enough to pay into the system (earned enough work credits).
“The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you became disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled,” according to the SSA.
What is the Definition of Disability?
According to the SSA, the agency’s definition of a disability is different than other types of programs. In fact, the SSA’s definition is stricter than most. Unlike say, private workers’ compensation insurance programs, the SSA does not pay benefits to people for short-term or partial disability. It only pays benefits for total disability.
The SSA considers someone disabled if:
- They cannot do the work they did before the disability.
- The person cannot engage in lighter or modified work due to the severity of their medical condition.
- The disability has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or it will result in death.
We hope this information clears up some, if not all of your questions. If you are interested in applying for disability benefits, we strongly advise that you do so with the assistance of a Dallas SSD lawyer from our firm. To get the process started, contact us today.