What is Social Security Disability?

  • Step 1 of 2
  •  
  • Step 2 of 2

What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability is a U.S. government program that provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a long-term disability. There are two different programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is for people who have a strong work history and paid into the Social Security System for at least 5 out of the last 10 years, while SSI is meant for disabled people who do not have a consistent work history.

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines “Disability” as any injury or disease that prevents you from doing the work you did before or from adjusting to any other sort of work.Your disability should be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

Your disability should prevent you from earning a $1000 average monthly salary. Your condition must be severe enough that it prevents you from performing basic work-related tasks in order for your Social Security Disability claim to be considered. In order to determine if your disability is severe, the SSA has a list of Medical Conditions for each of the major body systems. However, even if your condition is not found on the list, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

You can file your initial claim for disability either online, over the phone or in person at your local Social Security Field Office. The initial application stage is the first step in the Social Security Disability application process. Approximately 70% of all initial applications are denied. If your claim is denied, you will have to file a Request for Reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your letter of denial.

If your Request for Reconsideration is denied, then you may request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If the ALJ chooses to deny your disability application as well, then you have the option of filing an appeal with the Social Security Disability Appeals Council. If your claim is still unsuccessful after a review by the Appeals Council, your last option is to file an appeal with the Federal District Court.

Should I hire an Attorney?

The Social Security Disability process can often be confusing and stressful. A qualified Social Security Disability attorney will be able to simplify the process for you. Using their knowledge of the system, disability lawyers can increase your chances of being approved at each step of the application process.

An attorney will not receive any compensation unless your disability claim is successful. If you are awarded disability benefits, your attorney or advocate will be paid 25% of your first disability check or $6000, whichever amount is less. Also, if the attorney incurred out-of-pocket expenses in connection with your legal representation, these expenses will be included at the conclusion of your case. Please fill out our free disability evaluation form to be contacted by an attorney who will evaluate your claim.