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Do I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

Those who apply for Social Security disability benefits may begin the process not really certain about whether they will qualify, or on what basis they will be evaluated. The Social Security Administration uses multiple factors to determine whether an applicant qualifies for benefits, and it is important to have a basic grasp of these factors before putting together an application.  

The qualifications for SSDI are actually rather strict. With respect to preliminary requirements, one must be younger than full retirement age and have built up enough work credits to pass requirements related to earnings. Beyond that, one must be deemed to have a medical condition serious enough that it renders one unable to work. The condition must also be expected to last at least one year or to result in death. Another requirement: your earnings must fall below a specified amount under the substantial gainful activity requirement.

In terms of specific conditions, the Social Security Administration has a categorized listing of impairments with specific requirements listed for establishing each condition. If one provides sufficient evidence of the impairment or impairments in question, one may be defined as disabled. Alternatively, one can be deemed disabled by means of a medical vocational license. This is a determination that, although the requirements of a specific listing have not been met, other factors are sufficient to deem the applicant disabled.

Those who are looking into the possibility of applying for Social Security disability benefits should consult with an experienced attorney to ensure they put together the best possible application from the beginning. 

Source: Huffington Post, “Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?,” Carrie Scwab-Pomerantz, CFP, June 24, 2014. 

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