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Do young people qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

When many people hear that someone has a disability, they often conclude that its a condition they had since birth. It’s seldom the case, though. Some individuals may have genetic disorders or congenital disabilities at the time of their delivery that leaves them with impairments. Countless others suffer injuries or illnesses later in life that render them disabled and qualify them to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) argues that younger people often think of themselves as invincible and that there’s little to no chance of them suffering such a debilitating injury. The federal agency notes that this line of thinking is wrong. Their data shows that thousands of young persons suffer catastrophic injuries or die in traumatic accidents every year here in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

SSA data shows that mental illness and cancer diagnoses aren’t just diseases that afflict the elderly anymore. They are increasingly affecting young people as well. In some cases, these conditions lead them to apply for disability benefits earlier than they did in the past.

The federal agency’s data also shows that 25% of all 20-year-olds will suffer a disability before they reach retirement age. These debilitating injuries may happen on the job, result from a car or other type of accident or a medical condition progression.

Individuals wishing to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) must have a qualifying disabling condition and have a history of working and paying Social Security taxes. Many individuals who qualify for SSDI can only rely on their benefits to cover their necessary expenses. The average recipient earned $1,234 in 2019, a number that fell just above the poverty line. This stipend serves as a small but valuable financial lifeline for a disabled person who finds themselves no longer able to remain gainfully employed.

Qualifying for disability benefits is far from guaranteed. SSA’s definition of an impairment or disabling condition is relatively strict. Your illness must also either be terminal or expected to last more than a year if you wish to qualify for benefits. An attorney can review your medical and work history and advise you of your chances of qualifying for SSDI or disability benefits programs here in Oklahoma City.

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