If you are disabled and you cannot work or cannot work in any other capacity, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. In order to apply for these benefits, you must have worked jobs that pay into Social Security as part of employment taxes.

Disability and Social Security

Further, your disability must come under the definition of what Social Security requires. The definition is stringent, and the Social Security Administration makes a decision based on its guidelines. The disability must last for at least a year or until death. The agency does not allow for partial disability or short-term disability with regards to Social Security benefits.

Definitions and Factors

So what is disability according to the Social Security Administration? Disability, according to the SSA, means that you are not able to work as you once did nor are you able to adapt to an alternative job because of your disability. As stated earlier, duration of this disability needs to be at least a year or until the time of your death. Remember that Social Security disability is neither partial or short term. Other programs such as workers’ compensation or investments such as disability insurance cover partial or short-term disability.

Work Credits

Another major factor needed for coverage is the fact that you have worked in positions that pay into Social Security. The decision is based on work credits. You receive approximately four credits per year. Your age is a factor when determining how many work credits will be needed at the time of disability. In general, you will need 40 work credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years of your employment.


Before you apply, ask yourself these questions.

1 Have you been working and have you made more than $1,130 per month? If you are currently doing so, it is doubtful that SSA considers you disabled.

2 Can you do your job as you once did, and does your disability interfere with your capacity to perform your duties?

3 Can you adjust to other work with your current disability? The agency takes into consideration your age, education, work experience, skills and your medical status.

4 Finally, is your medical condition considered disabling? The administration has conditions for each body system that is so severe that you will be considered disabled. Any condition not on the list requires further scrutiny.

You should apply for disability as soon as you become disabled. You should also complete your application online.

You may also call the administration directly or you may also apply in person at your local Social Security office. If you wish to apply in person, be sure to contact the office and make an appointment.

Because of the complexities surrounding the requirements of disability, you are able and you may wish to appoint a representative. Our law office is well acquainted with aiding disability applicants and our expertise insures that you will receive your maximum benefits.