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What should you know about Social Security disability?

It is not unusual for some people to think that they should automatically qualify for certain government benefits. For instance, someone who suffers a serious injury and cannot work for a time may think that he or she should receive Social Security disability benefits. However, these government programs have strict stipulations, and an injury is not always the same as a disability.

Because much confusion can arise regarding whether a person may qualify for SSDI, it is important to know the facts. Continuing with the injury example, a person may miss work because of a serious injury, but in order to qualify for SSDI, the injury would have result in that person being unable to work for at least one year. An individual may qualify for benefits if the injury or an illness causes a life expectancy of less than one year. The Social Security Administration does not provide temporary disability benefits for injuries, illnesses or other health conditions that last less than one year with the expectation of recovery.

Other information that could be useful to someone considering SSDI benefits include the following details:

  • SSDI benefits are funded through Social Security taxes paid through workers’ lifetime earnings.
  • Individuals of any age could qualify for SSDI if their condition meets the requirements.
  • The amount of benefits paid each month is intended to help recipients meet their basic needs.
  • The SSA must detect and prevent fraudulent applications, which is one reason why gaining approval for SSDI is so difficult.

It is not always clear whether a person will qualify for Social Security disability benefits, and sometimes, individuals may think that they meet all of the requirements but still receive a denial. It can be confusing, frustrating and sometimes even frightening to wonder what a person can do to receive benefits while struggling financially due to an inability to work. Fortunately, if individuals do receive a denial or are confused about how to apply for benefits, knowledgeable legal professionals could provide valuable assistance.

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