Before you apply for disability insurance, be aware of the qualifications required by the Social Security Administration. The agency’s guidelines are exacting, and having the correct information before applying expedites the process.
First, know the definition of disability according to the administration’s guidelines. Secondly, you must have had employment that is covered by Social Security sometime in the past. Disability, as Social Security views it, is based on the level of your inability to work. You must not be able to work as you did nor can you adjust to other work because of your disability. The disability must also have a duration of at least a year or until death. Keep in mind that Social Security does not pay for partial disability.
Social Security also requires that you have worked long enough to enable you to receive benefits. This is based on a work credit system. Work credits are based on your yearly income and you can earn up to four of these credits a year. In general, 20 to 40 credits are required. This means you would have to have worked for approximately 10 years. If you are a younger worker you may need less. Age is a factor when determining these credits. Also the amount of salary needed for a credit changes from year to year.
Along with your disability interfering with your ability to work, your disability must be on the administration’s list. The list is categorized by major body systems and those conditions listed are considered to be severe. If your impairment is not on this list, then the agency determines if the condition is severe enough to be considered a disability.
Social Security suggests that you fill out an application before you speak to a representative. You may also fill out an online application. Documentation is needed for either. These documents include detailed medical records which include office visits, tests and medicines. You will also be asked to provide a detailed job history. Be prepared to include dates and provider information. Personal information will also be entered at this time including, spouse, children, divorces and bank account information.
After all information has been gathered and you speak directly to a representative at a Social Security office, your application can take three to five months to process. Keep in mind that most initial applications result in a denial. Denial of benefits can happen for a number of reasons, including incorrect or insufficient paperwork.
Our associates have an extensive knowledge of the filing process. We can eliminate the confusion and expedite the application and filing a claim.