Social Security Disability – General Information and Overview

When you are no longer able to work or pursue gainful employment due to injury, disease, physical disabilities, or mental impairments, then you and your family often face serious financial difficulties. Additionally, the inability to work frequently means that you no longer are able to pay for medical treatment or healthcare insurance. Social security Laws may provide you with income benefits, and access to medical care benefits. An experienced attorney familiar with Social Security disability law can help you protect your rights, and can help you get the benefits you deserve.

Types of Disability Programs: Social Security provides two basic types of assistance to those who meed the disability requirements:

  • Social Security Disability (SSDI): This program generally requires that you have paid Social Security taxes for defined periods of time, and, thus, have become an “insured” worker. Under SSDI, you will receive monthly disability payments based on the amount of the taxes you have paid into the Social Security system. You may also be eligible to receive Medicare health insurance coverage.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is a Federal program that focuses more on the need(s) and disabilities of the individual. It does not necessarily require that you have paid into the Social Security system if you are disabled, blind or over sixty-five (65) years of age. It does require that you meet very strict limits on the income you and your family receive, and on the amount of assets you may own. Generally, you must also be a U.S. citizen (Note: There are exceptions to this requirement. Consult an attorney).

Disability Defined: Both SSDI and SSI programs use a common definition of the term “disability”. To qualify, you:

  • Cannot be gainfully employed (Note: Some minor or incidental employment may be o.k.);
  • Must have a disabling impairment that has lasted or will last twelve (12) months or longer, or may result in death;
  • Must be unable to perform your former job; and,
  • Must be unable to seek alternative employment or other available work.

The terms used in these requirements are often defined by very technical and complicated provisions which are set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations. You may need a Social Security lawyer to assist you with understanding whether or not you qualify for benefits.

Common Impairments: Many common physical and mental medical conditions and disabilities prevent people from working. The requirements for qualifying for benefits vary by the type of disabling condition, and by you age, education, and previous type of employment. Common types of disabilities include heart ailments; spine and back injuries and disease; digestive system disorders; kidney failure; mental and neurological disorders including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression; immune system disorders; multiple sclerosis; COPD; loss or loss of use of body parts or limb(s), hand(s) and feet; malignant tumors; skin disorders; and impairments that affect multiple body parts or systems.

You do not have to face these difficult and debilitating conditions alone. We have the knowledge, experience and skill to assist you in dealing with the process of obtaining help from these Social Security benefits programs. CONTACT US today to discuss your situation, and the benefits that you may be entitled to receive.