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How the Social Security Administration defines disability

If you intend to file a claim for disability benefits, you need to first know if you qualify. Qualifying for disability insurance isn’t always straightforward.

Initially, you need to make sure you have a condition recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA). There is a list of disabilities you can find online and download. Even if your disability is not listed on this list, if it’s comparable to one on the list, you could still qualify.

Understanding Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability (SSD) is only paid for people who have permanent, long-term disabilities. Disability benefits are not paid in the short-term or to people who still have the ability have substantial employment.

You’ll be considered disabled by the SSA if you can show that you can’t do the job you did before an accident, that you can’t find other work or adjust to a new position because of your injury and if you are expected to suffer from your disability for at least one year. If your disability is expected to cause you to pass away (it is terminal), then this also qualifies you for SSD.

Social Security Disability provides you some financial benefits, but it does limit your ability to work. As you begin to recover, you may find that you want to go back to work. It’s a good idea to talk to your attorney before you do, so you know how much you can supplement your income before you’ll begin to lose disability benefits. There are limits to keep in mind that can help you keep the safety net you need.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Disability Planner: What We Mean By Disability,” accessed Feb. 07, 2018

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