How does one qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

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Qualify for Social Security

No one expects to suffer a disabling injury or health condition. Nonetheless, numerous residents in New York and other states across the nation suffer from disabilities. While some incidents cause an individual to suffer a short-term disability, others suffer long-term or permanent disabilities. No matter the severity of the condition or injury, if an individual is unable to work in the long term because of a disability, it is important to explore his or her rights and options.

How does one qualify for Social Security disability benefits, or SSDI? If the first requirement is met, which is having worked long enough in a job covered by Social Security, then the applicant must then take steps to prove that he or she has a medical condition or disabling injury that meets the SSA’s definition of disability. If medical records prove this and an application is approved then the applicant could receive cash benefits if it is determined that they will be unable to work for a year or more because of his or her disability.

The benefits awarded will usually continue until the recipient is able to work again on a regular basis. It is important to note that there are special rules regarding those seeking to transition back to work. Work incentives will be paid for those seeking to return to work but still require the benefits to meet their health care and basic living needs. Finally, if a recipient is receiving SSD benefits when they reach full retirement age, his or her disability benefits will automatically convert to retirement benefits; however, the amount will remain the same.

Receiving disability benefits can be very imperative for many individuals living with disabilities. Thus, it is important to understand the process, what qualifies them and what can be done if he or she is denied, benefits stop or they require additional financial assistance.

Source: Ssa.gov, “Disability Planner: How You Qualify,” accessed April 30, 2017

Terry Katz, Esq.

Founder of Terry Katz & Associates, a Long Island law firm specializing in workers’ compensation and social security disability for over twenty-five years.

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