Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability?
The requirements for obtaining Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are very technical. Most people who initially apply have difficulty understanding the complex forms, and historically, a large majority of applications are initially denied. If this has happened to you, don’t be discouraged. At Harlan Still & Koch, we have represented clients throughout central Missouri since 1978 in seeking SSD benefits. Our Columbia Social Security Disability attorneys can help you understand the system and how to make it work for you.
What Qualifies As A Disability?
To seek SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you have a long-term disability as determined by the definition adopted by Congress in the Social Security law. Under this law, a “disability” is any health condition that:
- Prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful employment, meaning that you cannot perform the essential components of any job on a full-time basis on account of your condition.
- Can be medically determined as an impairment through medical tests or evaluation.
- Has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months.
In addition to physical injuries, this definition includes mental health conditions as well as illnesses that prevent you from working.
SSD Vs. SSI Benefits
Many people confuse SSD benefits with Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a needs-based program also administered by the SSA. While both programs require documented medical evidence of disability, SSD applicants must also have an established work history. Generally, if you have worked at least five out of the past 10 years and paid your Social Security taxes for those years, you will be eligible for SSD.
Get The Knowledgeable Support You Need
Choosing the right lawyer to help you with your SSD claim can make a world of difference. We respect that your decision to seek legal advice should not be made solely based on a website. We invite you to talk with us personally in a free initial consultation so you can make an informed choice. Call our office at 800-483-1789 or send us an email to learn more about how we can help you.