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Qualifications and Procedures in Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits

Three out of ten American workers will be disabled before reaching the age of retirement, according to a study conducted by the Social Security Administration (SSA). With this finding, it is important for anyone to have insurance that will allow them to afford basic necessities in the event of disability.

Qualifications to Become Beneficiaries

To become eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, people should have worked at least 10 years in the US and should have contributed enough funds. According to SSA, 5 percent is withheld in workers’ monthly salary as part of their Social Security contributions.

SSD beneficiaries should also prove that their disability is severe, preventing them to work and earn money. Usually, the SSA does not give claims to people whose disability is short-term, partial, and not severe.

Before receiving SSD benefits, the claimants’ debilitating illness should be at least six months. While this requirement will postpone the benefits, it is a way to prove that a person’s disability is long-term.

Meanwhile, people with impairments such as blindness and other diseases that affect some parts of the body are also eligible for SSD benefits.

The SSA also requires claimants not to have an outstanding arrest warrant that involves a crime of felony (punishable by more than a year in jail or death). Also, people are not usually paid for the months they are imprisoned. However, some family members may be eligible to receive the benefits.

Other Conditions that will Determine if Someone is Eligible

  1. Work and present earning

    The SSA only gives grants to claimants who are not employed or have limited monthly earning.
  2. The capability to go back to work

    The agency will look at the condition of the claimants and determine if this will prevent them from going back to their previous work.
  3. The capability to work other jobs

    If the disability prevents claimants from going back to their jobs, the agency will consider if they are still capable to do other works which are less physically demanding.

Procedures in Filing for SSD

People can arrange an appointment by calling the agency in this number, 1-800-772-1213. After this, the local SSA will schedule an interview that will last about an hour. If people prefer to make their own appointments, the agency will send a letter (also called as Disability Starter Kit) that will state when the interview is and what preparations they should do.

Meanwhile, claimants can visit www.socialsecurity.gov to apply for disability benefits online.

When applying for SSD, the agency will need the following information:

  • The Social Security number of the claimants
  • Birth and baptismal certificates
  • The addresses, contact details, and names of medical practitioners including doctors, caregivers, clinics, and hospitals that took care of the claimants
  • Medical records from the hospitals or clinics where the claimants have stayed
  • Test and laboratory results
  • A short description of the claimants’ work
  • A copy of the most recent W-Form (Wage and Tax Statement) or when self-employed, the claimants’ federal tax return for the past year.
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