The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step process to determine whether an individual is eligible for SSD benefits. To be eligible, an individual must:
- Have worked in jobs covered by Social Security
- Have a medical condition that meets SSA’s definition of disability
- Be unable to work because of the medical condition
- The inability to work must last for at least one year or be expected to last for at least one year or result in death
- Meet the technical requirements for filing a claim
If you are younger than full retirement age and become disabled, you are eligible to receive benefits for an unlimited period of time. If you are older than full retirement age and become disabled, you are eligible to receive benefits for a limited period of time.
Can I Go Back to Work While on Social Security Disability?
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. One common misunderstanding is that you cannot work at all if you are receiving SSD benefits. This simply isn’t true. The Social Security Administration (SSA) understands that many people who are living with a disability want to maintain their independence and continue working, if possible.
The SSA has created a program called the Ticket to Work program to help people with disabilities return to work. The Ticket to Work program is free and voluntary. It offers people with disabilities access to job counseling, training, and other support services to help them find employment.
If you are receiving SSD benefits and you want to go back to work, the best thing to do is contact the SSA and ask about the Ticket to Work program. A representative will be able to tell you if you are eligible for the program and help you get started.
What If I’m Denied SSD Benefits?
If your initial claim for SSD benefits is denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal, called a “reconsideration.”
To request a reconsideration, you must submit a written request to the SSA office that handled your initial claim.
Once your reconsideration request is received, it will be assigned to another disability examiner who will review your case and any new evidence that has been submitted. The reviewer will then make a determination as to whether or not you are eligible for benefits.
We can help simplify this process and guide you through every step of the way.
Is Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer Worth It?
While you are not required to have representation when filing for SSD benefits, hiring a lawyer can give you a significant advantage. An SSD lawyer will help ensure that your claim is filed correctly and thoroughly the first time around, which can avoid delays in the approval process. Additionally, if your initial claim is denied and you need to file an appeal, having an SSD lawyer on your side can increase your chances of being approved for benefits.