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Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you are disabled and unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. For answers to your questions about Social Security Disability, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.

Learn More About Social Security Disability

If you want to avoid mistakes, unnecessary delays and a tremendous amount of frustration — it makes sense to work with a lawyer no matter what stage you are at in the disability claims process. My name is Michael G. Myers and as an attorney, I can help you get the disability benefits you deserve.

The following articles offer general information and are intended to provide you with a broader, big picture overview of Social Security Disability program. To get answers about your situation and concerns, call my offices in Indianapolis, Indiana, or contact me online a free consultation.

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As a lawyer, I handle disability claims and appeals for people throughout the central Indiana region. In fact, this is the only type of legal work I do. I encourage you to take advantage of my experience and knowledge of the Social Security system by calling or contacting me for a free consultation today.

Are you disabled and unable to work? Have you applied for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits and been denied? Do you know what to do next? Do not hesitate to call me, attorney Michael G. Myers in Indianapolis at 317-489-4066, or toll-free at 888-339-4149.

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

The federal Social Security Disability program provides benefits to qualified disabled individuals. The program sets out numerous requirements for recipients, including a strict definition of disability and a minimum work history. If you have questions about whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, contact a lawyer from Michael G. Myers in Indianapolis, Indiana, to learn more.

"Disability" Under Federal Social Security Law

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, an individual must be completely disabled. While some other insurance or employee benefits programs may cover people who are partially disabled, the Social Security program says that a qualifying disabled person must be unable to engage in any productive work, whether it is the type of work the person did before or some other gainful employment that the person might perform.

The disability must arise from a serious medical condition. The condition must be expected to last (or have lasted) for at least one continuous year or end in death.

The condition must be medically determinable. According to Social Security Administration guidelines, this means that the condition has been diagnosed using medically acceptable techniques. Whether the condition is mental or physical, the individual's reporting of symptoms is not enough. Specific medical evidence must back up the claim.

With a mental or psychiatric condition, the impairment can be more difficult to demonstrate. The individual must have significant symptoms. These symptoms may include difficulties with behavior, memory or thought. Again, self-reporting of symptoms is not enough; there must be medical diagnoses or test results to support the claim.

The standards for proving a disability that makes you unable to work can be stringent and complex. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you sort out what you need to show and whether you are likely to be regarded as disabled.

Work Requirements

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), a person must have a certain work history. The work history must include recent work and sufficient earnings. This is because Social Security Disability is an "insurance" program. It works like the Social Security retirement income program: you satisfy part of the requirement when you contribute money through your taxes. (Supplemental Security Income (SSI), on the other hand, requires not a specific work history but a limited amount of resources, plus disability.)

The tests are based on how many work "credits" you have earned — for each quarter of a year worked at a certain earnings level, you earn one credit. Some spouses, former spouses, widows/widowers and children are eligible based on their spouses' or parents' work history.

The Recent Work Test

The recent work test looks at how old the individual was when he or she became disabled and how much the individual worked in the years immediately preceding the disability's onset. The rule requires different levels of recent work depending on the age of the individual when the disability began. Generally, once a person turns 31, Social Security looks at the past 10 years and whether the person worked during at least half of the quarters during that time.

The Duration of Work Test

The individual also must meet the duration of work test. This test looks at whether a person has worked long enough over time to earn enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. This work does not have to be recent. Some blind workers only need to meet this prong of the test.

Contact an Attorney

The disability criteria and the earnings tests under federal Social Security law are specific and demanding. If you need help navigating the regulations of Social Security Disability law, consult an attorney from Michael G. Myers in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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