Social Security Disability is a social insurance program that provides income and financial assistance to disabled individuals. The program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is available to U.S. citizens and some legal residents who have paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes.
Applicants for Social Security Disability benefits must first prove that they are unable to work due to a physical or mental disability that is expected to last at least one year or is terminal. They must also show that they have worked enough years – typically five out of the last ten to qualify for benefits. If approved, beneficiaries may receive monthly payments as well as access to Medicare health insurance coverage.
It should be noted that the Social Security Disability program is distinct from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a need-based program that provides financial assistance to low-income individuals who are disabled, blind, or 65 years of age or older. SSI benefits are funded through general tax revenue rather than Social Security payroll taxes.
What Qualifies Me for SSD?
The Social Security Disability program is a government-run insurance program that provides benefits to disabled workers and their families. To be eligible for SSD benefits, you must meet certain requirements, including:
- You must have a qualifying disability. A qualifying disability is an illness or injury that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.
- You must have worked and paid into the Social Security system for a certain amount of time. You must have worked five out of the last ten years, or ten out of the last fifteen years, depending on your age.
- You must be unable to work due to your disability. You must be unable to do your past work or any other work that exists in the national economy.
If you meet all of these requirements, you may be eligible for SSD benefits.
How Long Can You Stay on Social Security Disability?
There is no definite answer to how long someone can stay on Social Security Disability (SSD) payments. The nature and severity of your disability will play a large role in determining how long you can receive SSD benefits.
Additionally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will periodically re-evaluate your case to ensure that you are still unable to work due to your disability. If the SSA finds that your condition has improved and you are now able to work, your benefits may be discontinued.
It’s important to note that just because you start receiving SSD benefits does not mean that they will continue indefinitely. If your condition improves, or if you are able to find gainful employment, your SSD payments may go down. Once you hit 65, you may also lose your SSD benefits and get paid your retirement benefits instead.
Is Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer Worth It?
Generally speaking, the more severe your disability case is, the more likely it is that you will need to hire an SSD lawyer. This is because the application process for SSD benefits can be complex and time-consuming, and having an experienced SSD lawyer on your side can increase your chances of being approved for benefits.