Unlike other programs that pay for partial disability, Social Security payments are only for complete and total disability. Attorneys know the Social Security Administration (SSA) has distinct qualifications for work and disability. Here’s what the agency requires for applicants to receive Social Security disability benefits.
What It Takes to Be Eligible for Social Security Disability
Generally, you must have earned up to four work credits each year in jobs covered by Social Security to qualify for benefits. You need 40 credits to qualify, with 20 of them earned in the 10 years before the disability began. Work credits are based on an employee’s yearly wages or self-employment income, and credit values change annually. In 2018, workers earned one credit for every $1,320 of income from wages or self-employment, so $5,280 equals four credits for the year.
To meet the Social Security definition of disability, you must be unable to work for at least a year or more due to a disability. Some conditions are so severe that the SSA considers them as preventing a person from completing substantial gainful activity that would count as work. Individuals with diseases such as pancreatic cancer, acute leukemia, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) can qualify for disability once the diagnosis is confirmed.
Individuals who worked in 2018 and earned an average of more than $1,180 a month would generally not be considered disabled. However, there are special benefits for children under the age of 18, disabled adult children, blind or low-vision individuals, widows or widowers, and wounded warriors and veterans.
When navigating the Social Security disability system, having a knowledgeable attorney can make the difference between obtaining and being denied benefits. With almost 20 years of experience, The Gil Law Firm in Dothan, AL, helps individuals throughout Alabama, Florida, and Georgia obtain Social Security disability benefits. Visit their website to learn more about their practice, or call (334) 673-0100 to schedule a disability attorney consultation today.