For most people, the idea that they will one day apply for Social Security Disability benefits never crosses their mind. After all, isn’t disability for people with severe conditions like cerebral palsy and autism?
Life happens, you put in your 8 hour work days day after day, year after year. You then realize what was once a simple back ache has turned into severe pain. You go in to your doctors, they order an MRI. The news is bad, your back ache has turned into full blown degenerative disc disease with spinal stenosis. Now what? Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day is now intolerable making it impossible to not only do the job you have done for the past 20 years, but also makes you unfit for any type of job.
For the first time in your adult life, you need help. You are not able to support yourself or your family. This is why the Social Security Disability Program was created.
If you find yourself in a position like this you aren’t alone. The latest statistics show that 1 out of every 20 working age Americans currently receives Social Security Disability benefits. This does not include the over 1 million who are waiting to be approved for benefits.
What Are the Qualifications For Social Security Disability Benefits?
The most obvious qualification for disability benefits is that you must have a condition, either mental or physical, that is keeping you from working. What you may not know is that there are other non-medical qualifications.
- You must be working less than 20 hours per week. This includes the time that you are actually applying for benefits. If you are working more than 20 hours per week when you submit your application it will be denied.
- To qualify for SSDI or DIB benefits you must have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years. These numbers change if you are under 28 years of age.
- To qualify for SSI benefits your household income cannot exceed a predetermined amount. This varies from family to family, a list of allowable income can be found here.
- Your condition must be expected to last 12 months or longer. For a list of common conditions that qualify for disability benefits click here.
How to I Apply For Social Security Disability?
Applying for disability benefits can be a bit tricky. You may have heard the horror stories from a friend who it took 6 years to be approved. While you will most likely not have to wait 6 years currently the average wait time is 4-24 months to be approved for benefits.
Call a Local Social Security Disability Lawyer
Perhaps the best way to apply for benefits is to contact a local disability lawyer. They know the red tape Social Security has put in place. They know their ways around it and can guarantee that you have the best possible chance of not only being approved, but being approved as quickly as possible.
File Online or In-Person
If you do decide to file on your own, file either on-line or in person at your local Social Security Disability office. We are not exaggerating when we say Social Security loses something we had mailed them daily even when we send it certified mail. This is why we submit everything we can online first. There will be forms and questionnaires that you must mail in, in these cases we recommend always making a copy before mailing so if/when Social Security loses your paperwork you will have a back up.
Free Book Offer
The A to Z of Social Security Disability Benefits is a comprehensive guide to applying for disability. This book will not only show you how to apply for disability benefits, but will also help you avoid mistakes that can be fatal to your disability application. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of our book click here to request your copy today.