Social Security Disability benefits provide a vital source of income to disabled individuals who can no longer work because of their condition. Qualifying for these benefits, however, depends on a number of different factors, including your previous employment.
One of the most important factors the Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at when evaluating your claim is your work history and if you have paid into Social Security.
Depending on an individual's circumstances, he or she may be eligible for benefits though one of two disability programs. Each has its own work requirements:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) requires that applicants have a recent work history and have paid enough â€œcreditsâ€ into Social Security taxes.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) requires no work history because this program is designed to help disabled individuals who are financially needy.
The longer you work and pay into Social Security, the more work credits you acquire, which makes you an â€œensuredâ€ person for disability benefits should you need them.
Evaluating Work History
In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must not be able to participate in â€œsubstantial gainful activity.â€ This means that you are unable to hold a job or make a living because of your condition.
Individuals may automatically meet this requirement if they suffer from a condition included in the SSA's Blue Book of impairments. This listing includes conditions that meet the SSA's requirements for a disability. Most individuals suffering from these conditions will not be able to work.
Those whose condition does not meet one of the listings may still be able to get disability benefits if they are no longer able to work in their traditional field of employment and if they cannot work in any other type of field.
The SSA will determine this through a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation in which it will analyze your age, education, employment history and job qualifications.
Get Help with Your Disability Claim
Filing for disability benefits is a complicated and intimidating process. Having an experienced disability lawyer by your side, can help ensure your application is complete and makes a strong argument for your eligibility.
Contact Dayes Law Firm PC today for a free consultation and review of your claim. We can help guide you through both the application process and the appeals process if your claim is denied.