If you are disabled and not sitting on a mountain of cash, then naturally, you may wonder how you are going to make ends meet. Fortunately, you could receive government benefits called Social Security disability benefits if your disability prevents you from working. Continue reading to learn more about what Social Security disability benefits mean and how to get your claim approved by the Social Security Administration.
Social Security Disability Requirements
Who qualifies for Social Security disability benefits? First and foremost, individuals must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. In addition, they must have a medical condition that meets the definition of “disability” and will likely prevent them from working for a minimum of 12 months. You could potentially qualify for Social Security disability benefits if your condition is mental, physical, or both.
To determine if you are disabled, Social Security will evaluate you according to the following five questions:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition severe?
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
Know that many conditions qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration keeps a list of conditions that apply, so you are encouraged to take a look and speak to an attorney. You may have a claim if you suffer from any of the listed conditions in such a way that you cannot work.
Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Illness?
Individuals who suffer from mental health conditions sometimes struggle to perform their jobs. It is essential to understand that Social Security disability benefits will apply to certain individuals with mental illnesses. Although the Social Security Administration recognizes the potentially debilitating impact of mental illness, recovering benefits in these cases can prove more challenging.
Some mental health conditions that could qualify for benefits include depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders. Many other mental disorders may also qualify.
It is not as clear-cut to prove mental illness as it is for many physical ailments. It is possible to recover benefits for mental disorders, but you will need the help of an experienced attorney who can work with you to build your case and prove that your mental condition qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits.
I Was Denied Social Security Disability Benefits. Now What?
A large number of claims for Social Security disability benefits get denied. In fact, Social Security Administration representatives deny most claims. If the SSA denies your claim, however, you have the right to file an appeal. When you file an appeal, the SSA will reconsider your claim.
The appeal process will involve a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, who will ask you questions and might consult with a vocational expert to determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
If you choose to appeal your case, you should strongly consider working with an attorney, as it is in your best interests to do so. Why? Disability attorneys can help you gather documentation and medical records to put together a solid appellate case, increasing your chances of recovering benefits with the assistance of someone familiar with the system.
How Many Days Do You Have to Appeal a Social Security Denial?
More than 7-in-10 individuals get denied Social Security disability benefits denials, and if you’re one of them, you have 60 days to file an appeal. If you miss your time window to file the appeal, you might be able to extend the filing if you can prove valid reasons such as a severe medical emergency.
How Does Working Part-Time Affect SSD?
It is common for individuals to suffer from conditions that might prevent them from working full-time but don’t entirely prevent them from working a part-time job. Special rules allow eligible individuals to work part-time while recovering Social Security disability benefits. If you have a qualifying disabling impairment, you might be able to work a “trial period” for around 9 months. During that time, you can recover full Social Security disability benefits while earning an income as well.
If you can work, you can recover some benefits for another 36 months in cases where your earnings remain nil or insubstantial.
Do Social Security Disability Benefits Expire?
You may be wondering, “How long do SSD benefits last?” Social Security disability benefits can last for as long as your medical condition prevents you from working. If your condition substantially improves, then you will stop receiving SSD benefits. That said, SSA will periodically review your case to determine whether you still meet the necessary qualifications. The SSA may also stop your benefits if you commit certain crimes, receive other benefits, or otherwise become ineligible.
Can I Get Other Benefits with SSD?
If you recover Social Security income benefits, you might still qualify for SSD benefits if your income is particularly low. In some cases, you might not be able to recover both types of benefits because the disability benefits are high enough to disqualify you from receiving the Social Security income benefits
if you have private disability insurance, however, you may still qualify for SSD benefits. But recovering workers' compensation benefits and other public disability benefits can impact your SSD payments, so be sure to consult with a lawyer to determine which benefits will prevent you from collecting SSD.
Can You Apply for Social Security Disability After Retirement?
Once you reach retirement age, you cannot continue to recover SSD benefits. Currently, you can recover retirement benefits if you are at least 67 years old rather than Social Security disability benefits.
Speak to Our Attorney for All of Your SSD Needs
If you are disabled and believe that you might be entitled to SSD benefits, you should touch base with an experienced disability attorney for guidance and direction. The Watson Firm, PLLC knows how to deal with the SSA and can help you understand whether you qualify for benefits, working diligently on your behalf to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.
To learn more, reach out to us online or by calling (850) 607-2929!