An Introduction to Social Security Disability Programs

The Social Security disability program is a way that individuals can receive monetary benefits when they become disabled. This program is available to the majority of United States citizens, and it can be very beneficial if you become disabled in some way. Here are the basics of the Social Security disability program.

Need for the Program

Most individuals underestimate the likelihood that they could become disabled at some point during their careers. However, there is a large number of individuals that will end up becoming disabled at some point. In fact, according to recent estimates, if you start working when you are 20 years old, there is a 30 percent chance that you will become disabled before you retire. This represents how important this type of program is for the general public.

Who Is Eligible?

In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, you will have to meet certain eligibility requirements. According to the current rules, you have to have a disability that is expected to keep you out of work for at least one year or is expected to result in death. If you have a more short-term disability, disability insurance that is provided by your employer should cover this type of benefit. You also have to meet requirements as to how recently you worked and whether you worked long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. To determine if you have worked long enough to qualify, there is a table that is utilized by the Social Security Administration. 

Applying for Benefits

In order to start receiving Social Security disability benefits, you will need to apply for them. You can do this by visiting the Social Security Administration's website or by calling them on the phone. You will need to provide them with basic personal information about yourself and about your disability. Expect the application process to take some time. In many cases, you can wait for as long as five months before you start receiving disability benefits from them.

Working during Disability

Many people wonder whether it is possible to continue working while receiving disability benefits. It is possible to continue working in some capacity and receive disability benefits. However, a few things will be considered in determining if you are eligible to continue receiving benefits. For example, they will determine if you are making too much money to qualify for disability benefits. They will also look at whether you are doing the same type of job as you were before you were injured or if you have to move into some other type of position. If you can still do the same work that you could before you were injured, they will consider you not to be disabled, and they will deny your claim. Therefore, as a general rule, you will have to be doing a different job than you were when you were injured.

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