Who is considered "disabled"?
The Social Security Administration uses a strict definition of disability. The program does not pay for partial disability or short-term disability. To qualify for benefits under SSDI, your disability must prevent you from doing any substantial gainful work, and it must last or be expected to last a year or to result in death.
Despite the rule that the disability must be expected to last a year, you should apply for benefits as soon as the condition becomes disabling and your doctor is willing to state in writing that it is expected to last at least a year. If it turns out that you recover sooner than expected, the SSA will not ask for its money back.
Older workers who become disabled tend to have an easier time having their claims approved. The SSA recognizes that it is more difficult for older workers to be retrained or to find new employment. In addition, the agency knows that a disabled worker who is, say, 60-years-old and will be receiving retirement benefits in a few years anyway, will cost it less in benefit payments than a younger worker would.
How we can help!
Unlike applying for retirement benefits, the application process for disability benefits is complicated and time-consuming. Before you can collect benefits, you must have been disabled for at least six months. However, since the application process itself can take up to six months, do not wait for the six-month period of disability to elapse before applying for benefits; do it as soon as you become disabled!
Therefore, we recommend that you set up a consultation as soon as possible, so that we can guide you through the process of applying. We can provide guidance on what you will need for documentation, and what to expect when you apply and if you’re denied.
If you or a loved one are experiencing a disability and believe you are eligible for social security disability benefits, contact us today!