When workers in the United States are no longer able to earn a living due to a disability, they have options to replace some of their lost income. Fortunately, those who fall into this category may be able to take advantage of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is a social insurance program that provides wage replacement and other benefits to disabled workers and their dependents. But, how does the Social Security Administration (SSA) define“being disabled”?
Defined under the Social Security Act
The rules for eligibility in Social Security’s disability program are often more strict and not the same as those of other government programs or private plans. Also, the SSA does not give partial or temporary benefits. To obtain disability benefits, the applicant must meet the standards of what the Social Security Act defines as being disabled. Under the Act, an individual is considered disabled if he or she is unable to work due to a severe injury or medical condition that has lasted or will last at least 12 months or result in death.
The condition(s) must also make it unable to make an adjustment to do other work and stop the individual from doing work that the worker did in the past. Those who receive Social Security disability benefits are often severely impaired since the law defines disability so strictly. Reportedly, Social Security disability beneficiaries may be more than three times as likely to die within a year when compared to others the same age.
Applying for disability
The application process for obtaining SSDI benefits can be lengthy, complicated and confusing. Those who suffer from a disabling illness or injury and want to begin the process of applying for SSDI benefits can get help by speaking with a legal professional. An experienced attorney can provide step-by-step guidance to ensure the client’s application is complete and accurate.