How does one obtain Social Security Disability benefits?

Each year hundreds of thousands of people either become injured at work, through an accident, or suffer a debilitating disease, or sickness that renders them unable to perform any traditional work in which to earn a living. These conditions can be either physical, psychological, or both. In these situations, the federal government will award people money on a monthly basis. However, it should come as no surprise that obtaining cash from the federal government is no simple feat.

In order to first obtain Social Security Disability benefits one must have worked in jobs that are covered by Social Security followed by having a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. You cannot be partially or temporarily disabled, instead you must be totally disabled.

The Social Security Administration will consider you disabled under its rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • The SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
  • If you have worked enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, then the Administration asks 5 questions:
  1. Are you working?
  2. Is your condition “severe”?
  3. Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions?
  4. Can you do the work you did previously?
  5. Can you do any other type of work?

You can apply for disability benefits either by filling out an application on-line or making an appointment to come into a local office. You will be required to provide many documents and provide a lot of background information concerning your medical history and prior employment. The Administration will review all of the materials you have provided and determine whether you meet the criteria for disability. If you disagree with the Administration’s denial of your claim, then you have the right to appeal their determination.

If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits and wish to speak to a member of our staff, please contact our office so that we may explain the appellate process.