Each year, millions of Americans experience life-altering conditions that render them unable to work and fend for themselves and their dependents. Obviously, the loss of income, coupled with the resulting medical bills often leads to serious financial strain for disabled individuals.
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is a federal government-funded program that offers financial support to qualified individuals. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a strict eligibility requirement for disability benefits.
Here are three questions the SSA will ask when evaluating your case and, hence, eligibility for disability benefits.
Are you working or able to find work?
If you are currently working or can take up a different job, or if you have worked during the past 12 months, and your monthly income is $1,470 or more, then you may not qualify for disability benefits. However, if you cannot work and your disability is expected to last for at least 12 years or lead to death, then you will qualify for the benefits.
How “severe” is your disability?
Generally, any medical condition will affect the quality of your life. To qualify for disability benefits, however, your medical condition must be severe enough to prevent you from performing basic work-related chores. Thus, whereas your medical condition may be distressing, if it is not hindering you from accomplishing basic work activities, your claim may not go through.
Is your condition listed among the disabling conditions?
The SSA’s Blue Book lists medical conditions that it considers severe enough to automatically qualify for disability benefits. Nonetheless, you may still qualify for benefits even if your condition does not feature in the Blue Book.
Understanding your rights
If you are wondering whether your condition qualifies for SSD benefits, you are not alone. The process of filing for disability benefits can be long and tedious. Knowing your legal options, however, can help you protect your rights and interests while pursuing disability benefits.