Obtaining Your Benefits
It doesn't matter how obvious your disability is to your doctor or to a lawyer or to anyone else — there are no guarantees of success with any claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
At Midwest Disability, we help people who can't work because of a medical condition to apply for and obtain governmental disability benefits. We have more than 50 years of combined experience to draw from in these cases, and we help thousands of people each year.
Are you eligible for disability benefits?
Beginning with the basics about eligibility — both the SSD and SSI programs require a medical determination of disability, or a treating source's medical opinion supported by evidence.
To be eligible for disability benefits, you have to have an impairment that is expected to prevent you or that already has prevented you from engaging in "substantial gainful activity" for at least 12 consecutive months. You can also qualify for disability benefits if you have an impairment that is expected to result in death.
What does "substantial gainful activity" mean?
Simply stated, if you can do a job that will earn you more than $1000 each month (for 2010) — you can engage in what the SSA calls "substantial gainful activity."
Which program am I eligible for?
Eligibility for SSD benefits is primarily based on your work history. To qualify you must have earned enough work credits and have paid social security taxes for 5 out of the last 10 years. If you don't have that long of a work history, don't be discouraged. The rules are different for younger workers.
By contrast, eligibility for SSI benefits is need-based and does not depend upon your previous work history. Essentially, if you meet the SSA's definition of "disabled" and you have less than $2,000 dollars in assets — you will most likely qualify.
Successful attorneys who care — Midwest Disability works for you.
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