When injuries or illnesses impact someone’s ability to work, such challenges can greatly harm their standard of living. In some cases, people who have been seriously injured or who have developed an illness may be able to apply for Social Security Disability benefits in order to blunt the impact that such challenges may have on their finances.
Social Security Disability can provide people who can’t work with many benefits. For example, if you are currently unable to work due to a disability, you may receive monthly income that increases with cost-of-living adjustments. If your injuries and illnesses improve, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. And, because injured or ill workers often need some kind of medical insurance, you may be eligible for health care coverage as well.
The main benefit of Social Security Disability is that it gives workers the opportunity to take care of themselves instead of trying to make ends meet when their bodies won’t cooperate. While that’s that short version of Social Security Disability, there’s certainly much more that you should know before applying for benefits.
1. Some injuries don’t qualify for Social Security Disability
Just because you’re injured or develop an illness doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll qualify for Social Security Disability. For starters, an injury or illness generally needs to prevent a worker from doing the work they were previously accustomed to. Then, an illness or injury must last or is expected to last for a year or result in death.
The following are just a few examples of injuries and illnesses that may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits:
- Motor control impairment
- Degenerative disc disease
The Social Security Administration is very strict about what qualifies for medical benefits, so you’ll want to seek legal guidance concerning your eligibility before taking the time to apply.
2. Benefits are calculated by work credits
Your benefits are calculated not only by your income but also by how long you’ve worked. For every year employed at your job, you’re awarded work credits. Depending on how many work credits you’ve accumulated, your Social Security Disability benefits will vary.
3. There’s a strong chance that your benefits application could be denied
There’s always a chance, when filing for Social Security Disability, that an applicant will initially be denied their rightful benefits. In many cases, this happens because the person filing for the benefits didn’t provide enough information. It can be greatly troubling to find that your benefits application has been denied.
Making sure that you know your legal rights can help you to avoid an initial denial. Seeking legal guidance can also help to ensure that if you have to file an appeal, your case is as strong as it can be.