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The basics of Social Security disability benefits

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2016 | Qualifying For SSD/SSI Benefits

Physical disability can have a crushing impact on a person’s life. In addition to the pain of the injury, a person’s capacity to earn an income can be substantially limited. Ohio residents who meet certain criteria can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration if an injury has made it impossible for them to work. Unfortunately, successfully applying for disability benefits can be a long and often frustrating process. No single blog entry can cover all of the issues that may arise in the course of the benefit application process, but a knowledge of the basics can be very useful.

In order to receive disability benefits, a person must be rendered by illness or injury physically unable to perform the basic duties of his or her occupation. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate that his or her physical condition prevents changing to another line of work. Finally, the disability must be predicted to last for at least one year or to result in death. Age also affects a person’s eligibility. For example, a claimant younger than 28 years of age must have worked for a period of 1.5 years prior to the onset of the disability, while a claimant who is 50 must have worked continuously for a period of seven years.

An application for disability benefits must be submitted to a local Social Security office. The applicant must complete all questions on the questionnaire and – most importantly – must provide information on the medical condition that caused his or her inability to work. The applicant must also provide information on prior earnings, anticipated living expenses and other aspects of his or her income needs. The Social Administration will review the application and render a decision in 90 to 150 days.

Deciding whether a particular injury or medical condition has caused a total disability within the meaning of the law can be very complex, and the SSA’s decisions are sometimes incorrect. Any person who is contemplating applying for SSD benefits may wish to consult a lawyer who specializes in such cases. A knowledgeable attorney can provide advice on a person’s eligibility for disability benefits and assistance in completing the application. In the event that an application is denied, the lawyer can provide advice about appealing the decision.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Disability Planner,” accessed on March 12, 2015