Social Security Disability Qualifications

July 20, 2018 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Social Security Disability

Individual in wheelchairWhen people suffer from long-term disability, they may have the right to seek disability benefits through social security. There are many requirements that must be met for a person to obtain these benefits, and the filing process can be complicated.

At Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, our attorneys have experience handling various types of lawsuits that cover all areas of the law. Our experienced disability attorneys can be a great asset when filing for social security disability. We understand the social security disability qualifications that our Provo, UT clients must meet to obtain benefits. Our attorneys will gather the evidence necessary to prove our client’s case so they get the disability payments they need to support themselves.

Defining Disability

Many people do not seek the social security disability benefits they are due because they don’t realize that they qualify. One common misconception is that a disability must be physical in nature for benefits to be available.

In truth, disability is defined by social security as any condition (physical or mental) that is severe enough to inhibit a person’s ability to work and earn a livable income.

Who Is Eligible?

To qualify for social security disability, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements. Following are some of the factors that will be considered by social security:

  • The severity of the disability: A minor disability is not enough to qualify someone for social security benefits. Instead, the condition must be classified as severe. However, severe is a subjective term. Essentially, a severe disability is one that has a significant impact on a person’s normal daily functions and activities.
  • The duration of the disability: Another important factor that is considered prior to providing social security disability is how long the disability has been present or will be present. To qualify for disability, a condition must last for a minimum of 12 months. Even if a disability completely incapacitates a person, they will not qualify for benefits if doctors believe the condition will resolve itself within less than a year.
  • An inability to return to former work: To qualify for social security disability, the debilitating condition must not only exclude the person from returning to their current work, but any jobs that have been held in the previous 15 years. Disabilities must also be substantial enough that they prohibit the individual from doing some other type of work.

In addition to the abovementioned criteria, candidates for social security disability must meet some non-medical conditions.

To qualify for benefits, the individual must be able to prove that he or she is either a citizen or has alien status, and that he or she has social security insurance through his or her work record. Other information that may be requested include a birth certificate and any applicable marriage license.

Contact Us

Social security is often quick to deny disability benefits, so it is important for applicants to have an experienced attorney, such as those at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, working on their side. If you have questions about your rights to social security disability, or need help filing for your benefits, contact us at your earliest convenience.