Has a recent injury or medical diagnosis made it impossible for you to continue working? Wondering how you will be able to pay your bills? Social Security may be able to help with some of your financial needs. The Social Security disability benefit allows the injured and certain members of their family to receive benefits.
Social Security Disability, is available if an individual has worked long enough to pay into the system. In addition the injury or medical condition must be serious enough to prevent an individual from working for at least 12 months or until their death. It is important to note that, unlike some other programs, SSD does not award for partial or short term disability. An individual who applies for these benefits must strictly meet the requirements set by federal law.
There is an earnings requirement that must be met by every applicant. This measures both a duration or work test and a recent work test. The applicant's age at the time of the disability is taken into consideration in the recent work test. The duration of work test shows whether the amount of time worked by the applicant qualifies them for SSD benefits. In the case of blindness, some applicants will only have to prove the duration of work test.
Though it is estimated that one in four 20-year-old workers will become disabled before reaching retirement, most individuals never prepare for such an event. When faced with filing a disability claim the task may seem overwhelming. An attorney experienced with disability can help these individuals with the SSD application and appeal if needed.
Source: Social Security, "Disability Benefits," last visited February 23, 2015