We plan and plan our whole lives down to the little details, but we never know how things will eventually turn out. What if, because of an illness or a disease, you are suddenly unable to provide for yourself and your family? It’s a daunting thought, but one that is hard to dismiss.
When the word disability is spoken, we always consider it external to ourselves—a problem that other people have, but not something that can happen to us. We live our lives oblivious to the fact that there could come a time where we too could stop being financially productive. This can happen at any point in your life; not just in old age.
Whether because of old age or an accident, sustaining an injury or suffering from an illness, disability can take a toll on any human being’s physical and mental health. To make sure that you are comfortable and provided for in such an unfortunate scenario, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Before you start with the official procedure, we have some insights that you may not have known about SSD.
1. Your Job Should Have an SSD Policy
To qualify for this benefit, your workplace must have an SSD policy. If they do, you will have a repository consisting of ‘work credits’ for every year that you spend on your job. Every time you generate a certain amount of income, you get one credit, with a maximum of 4 credits per year.
Whether or not you will qualify for SSD depends on how many credits you have earned over the past 10 years, or how many credits in total you have. If you’re older when you become disabled, there are more chances of you receiving SSD benefits.
2. You Must Have Paid Social Security Taxes
Since the SSD program is a brainchild of the U.S. Government, you cannot qualify for benefits if you have not paid your Social Security taxes in full. If you have not done so, a specialized attorney can help you clear your dues so you can apply for financial aid.
3. Your Adult Child Can Qualify for Benefits
If you have an adult child under 22 who meets the government’s criteria for disability, you can also apply for Social Security benefits on their behalf.
In fact, an adult child over 22 can also apply for these benefits if they were affected by disability before they turned that age. You may have to talk this over with a professional for more detailed information, but it just might work out.
4. You Must Be Recently Employed
If the last time you worked was too long ago, you may not qualify for SSD benefits. Your last employment should roughly coincide with the time you became incapacitated for it to work. If you weren’t employed at the time, it is possible that you will not be eligible to receive financial aid for Social Security Disability.
5. You Can Use Your Parents’ or Spouse’s Work History
Let’s say your work history doesn’t match the criteria for receiving SSD benefits. In such a scenario, the government may be able to provide you monetary assistance every month based on either your parents’ or your spouse’s work history.
6. The Qualification Criteria Changes Every Year
We have already established that to avail yourself of Social Security disability benefits, you must meet all criteria. However, the fact of the matter is that these criteria are not set in stone. In fact, they change almost every year and it is up to you to keep up with the new rules. Of course, as a person applying for SSD aid, it is likely that you will not have the time or energy to look up new rules and determine your eligibility. A professional is usually up-to-date on these matters and can offer you professional, practical advice. Even if reading these conditions has discouraged you from applying, a lawyer may be able to find a way around and get you in. It’s not a guarantee, but it never hurts to try.
If you feel too confused about where to start, we recommend that you hire a social security disability lawyer like Michelle Powers. As a nurse she has the medical knowledge often requires in disability cases. As an attorney, she has the legal expertise to guide you through your case. Attorneys know the ins and outs of new laws and their loopholes. They can help you claim your benefits and receive enough financial aid to live contentedly in your home.