If a disability is impeding your ability to work, it is important that you seek state assistance immediately. More than 10 million Americans are currently in receipt of social security disability benefits, all of whom have a wide variety of conditions and circumstances.
If you are in need of social security disability, it is vital to apply as soon as possible. In some states, the time between application and receiving your first payment can be as high as five months. In order to have your application accepted quickly, it helps to know exactly who qualifies. If you’re wondering how to apply for social security disability, here are the top five factors that mean you are eligible.
1. You Have a Qualifying Condition
The most important thing to consider when filling out a social security disability application is whether you have a condition that is on the US government’s official list of qualifying conditions. This list is quite vast and covers hundreds of conditions and diseases.
Mental health issues are also taken into consideration and if your mental health problem is “severe” then you will likely qualify. The most important thing is that it is clear that your disability to preventing you from earning a living.
2. You Are Blind
If you are legally considered blind, then you will most likely qualify for social security disability benefits. However, this is no guarantee, as we shall explain further down.
First, you will need to get written documentation from your doctor explaining that your vision is impaired to the point where you are unable to do most types of work. Since blindness generally does make it very difficult to earn a living in many fields, you should be accepted.
3. You Are Earning Less Than the Minimum Threshold
No matter the severity of your condition, there are still financial conditions that must be met in order to qualify for benefits. First, you must be earning less than $1,260 a month (as of 2020). If you earn more than this, it is very unlikely that you will be considered disabled.
This figure includes any income derived from other forms of benefits. However, there are caveats. Make sure to check with a social security disability attorney to find out what qualifies in your state.
4. You Are Unable to Do the Work You Did Previously
This is another important qualifying factor. Basically, the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that their condition prevents them from performing whatever their previous job role was prior to diagnosis. Sometimes, this is pretty clear cut.
For example, a person who is unable to walk is quite clearly unable to perform a job that requires lots of walking and going up and downstairs. However, this can sometimes be more difficult to prove, especially with mental disabilities.
5. You Have Enough Work Credits for Social Security Disability
Finally, it is important to take into account the so-called “work credits” system. This is designed so that people who have paid into the social security system are first in line to receive benefits. You will generally need 40 credits earned over the past 20 years to qualify.
You can earn up to 4 credits a year, which is achieved for every year that have earned a gross taxable income of $5,640. Of course, fewer credits are required for younger people who have not been in work for long enough to earn those credits.
Social Security, Politics, and You
Social security disability is constantly changing, depending on the whims of the politicians that dictate how the system is run. The benefits you are entitled to is inextricably bound up in politics.
That’s why staying informed matters. In our Politics section, you will find expert updates and opinions on the political developments in America that directly affect you.