Harlan Still & Koch

Demystifying Social Security Disability


There is often a lot of confusion and a lot of misconceptions surrounding social security disability and those individuals who receive these SSD benefits. It is important to have some basic information and facts before you apply for SSD benefits, as it can be a long and difficult application process. Social security disability can be a very important lifeline in a difficult time when you are faced with an unexpected illness or injury that leaves you unable to work.

Social security disability is a program that most American workers contribute to through their federal payroll taxes. Workers thereby earn their social security earnings through their years spent in the workforce. The amount and qualifications for SSD benefits are determined based on the amount an individual has paid through their taxes on earnings while employed, and is then used to supplement their income when they are no longer able to work.

The Social Security Administration defines a disability very strictly. A person is only considered to have a disability if they have a serious medical condition that has lasted or is expected to last more then a year or result in death and this condition leaves them unable to work. Disability can affect anyone at any age who meets the definition. In fact, statistics show that one in four 20 year olds will become disabled before retirement age and may require SSD benefits.

There are no partial or temporary SSD benefits offered; the benefits paid are only designed to help individuals meet their basic needs, with the average pay out being roughly $1,197 per month. The program is also designed to help individuals return to work if possible without losing all of their benefits, such as healthcare and other assistance.

Even with a basic background and understanding, SSD benefits, qualifications and the application process can be overwhelming and confusing. It is important to consult with an experienced social security disability attorney to provide you with the necessary information and help guide you through the process.

Source: Washington Times Herald, Helpful facts about social security disability benefits, April 21, 2018.

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