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What can qualify you to receive Social Security disability?

Imagine you develop a serious and permanent illness or disability. This medical problem has left you unable to work and unable to earn an income to support yourself and your family.

It can be terrifying to have your source of income dry up and not know where the money is going to come from to pay the bills. However, if you can successfully apply for Social Security disability benefits, you might be able to get the extra cash you need to survive.

How do you qualify for Social Security benefits?

On the surface, the Social Security disability application process seems straightforward, but this isn't necessarily the case. The Social Security Administration takes great care to scrutinize every disability application -- especially now because government investigators have been cracking down on Social Security fraud.

On the most basic level, the SSA wants to see that applicants are going to be disabled and unable to work as a result of their conditions for at least a year. Alternatively, the SSA will want to see that applicants are suffering from a disabling condition that will lead to their death. In this respect, a "disability" as per the SSA's guidelines is not a "short-term" condition -- it's a permanent one, or at the very least a semi-permanent one that will affect an individual for at least a year.

What conditions will qualify me to receive benefits?

Getting a doctor to diagnose and offer an opinion on your condition regarding the way it affects your ability to work is an essential part of a successful Social Security disability application. Preferably, your doctor has diagnosed you with a condition that appears on the SSA's list of qualifying conditions because this will help you gain approval for benefits faster. However, even if your disease condition doesn't appear on the qualifying conditions list, you may still be able to prove how your unique disease circumstances have rendered you disabled.

The more you know about Social Security law the better

The more that Social Security disability applicants know about the law, and how the SSD application process works, the better chances they'll have of getting approval. Since most applicants are in desperate need for money as soon as possible, it's vital that you get your application right the first time around, so you don't have to submit to cure application deficiencies later on down the road.

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