Most everyone has the desire to provide for themselves and their families, so if you are unable to work due to a mental or physical impairment, I understand that it can be quite disheartening. I have counseled many clients in the same situation you’re in now, and I can tell you that there is hope for redemption. Social Security disability insurance was designed specifically to help those in your shoes. Below, I will discuss how to do determine if you qualify for disability benefits and how to go about applying for them.
What Does It Mean to Be Disabled?
A disability is defined as a mental or physical impairment that prevents you from performing work. The impairment must be long-lasting, meaning that it will persist for a year or more. Furthermore, this determination must be made by a doctor, and he or she must also document that you have sought out treatment for your disability. This is important because the Social Security Administration will not grant benefits to someone who has not first given medically supervised treatments a chance.
If you’ve already done the latter, you’re at a good starting point. Still, before you apply for Social Security disability benefits, you must ensure that you have worked for an employer covered by Social Security. Take a look at your paystub or W-2. If Social Security contributions have been deducted from your gross income, you are said to have “work credits.” You can typically earn up to four credits for each year that you worked. The number of credits needed to qualify for disability benefits depends on the age you were when you became disabled, and you must use your credits before they expire. I can help you determine whether or not your impairment qualifies as a disability and help you calculate the number of work credits needed for benefits if it does.