Disability is defined by the Social Security Administration as an inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity for eight hours per day because of an impairment, which can be expected to last for one year or result in death. However, there is an exception to this definition for people aged 50 or older with a work history of no transferable skills, even if they can work an eight-hour per day sedentary job.
The specific type of illness or injury does not necessarily play a role in eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Qualifying for benefits instead depends on whether you have been disabled for at least 12 months or you will be disabled for that long or longer. Additionally, whether or not you paid into the Social Security system impacts the benefits you are eligible for.
Do You Qualify For Benefits?
While the definition above may seem straightforwaard, you cannot always rely on common sense to determine what is and what is not considered a disability under Social Security Law. Factors such as age, education, work experience and transferability of skills, the type of impairments including mental disorders and the specific limitations must be properly assessed to determine if a person is entitled to disability benefits.
If you have been disabled for 12 months or more, you qualify for benefits. If you are going to be disabled for 12 months or more, you qualify for benefits. It does not matter what type of illness or injury is involved.
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have paid into the Social Security system. You must have been employed at least five out of the past 10 years. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the injury happened or illness began at a time when you were eligible, you may qualify now.
If you are not eligible for SSDI benefits, you may be eligible for SSI benefits. These benefits are available to people who have been unemployed, who do not own homes and who do not, for one reason or another, meet the payment history requirement.
Just Because You Were Denied Benefits Does Not Mean You Are Not Eligible
Perhaps you have already applied and your application has been denied. This does not necessarily mean that you are not eligible. Many applications are initially denied. Our attorneys will gather any supplementary information necessary to make it clear to the Social Security Administration that you are disabled and in need of benefits.
Furthermore, partially returning to work does not necessarily interrupt disability benefits. Sometimes a claimant can work part time and still receive benefits. Our Columbus lawyers can offer guidance if you are considering returning to work.
The law places the burden of proof on the disabled person to prove he or she is disabled based upon demonstrable abnormal testing and clinical findings. We will help you meet the burden of proof.
Contact us for a free consultation by calling our Columbus office by dialing 614-258-1133. You can also contact us online by clicking the button below.
If you or a loved one is in need of an experienced and trusted workers' compensation or social security disability lawyer, call Thomas Evan Morgan at 614-258-1133 or contact our firm online below.