Social Security Disability Facts

Ever wondered about Social Security Disability and how it works? Here are a few simple facts that can help you determine whether you might be eligible for Social Security Disability.

You can actually work and be considered disabled, but you will only be found disabled if your condition prevents you from being able to work and earn at least a certain minimum amount each month (this amount is known as substantial gainful activity). If you cannot work and earn at least this amount per month (and that's before taxes), then you may possibly be considered disabled.

Additionally, the Social Security Disability definition of disability infers that you are only qualified as disabled if your disability may possibly result in death and it must be expected to last at least one year if it has not already.

Social Security Disability is not instant. How long does it take? It can easily take at least three to six months to receive a decision about your claim after you file an application. In the meantime, hopefully you have a savings account and investments to help cover the costs of sustaining yourself.

Other important things to know

Social Security Disability does not pay for partial disability or short term disability; it only pays for total disability, as outlined above. Why is this? Probably because insurance and worker's compensation are expected to cover short-term disabilities.

If you get approved for Social Security Disability, the amount of monies you may receive are dependent upon your Social Security earnings in record. The amount you may receive is not dependent upon your current wages or your current job, but on work done in jobs covered by Social Security. In other words, if you have paid into the system and earned enough quarters of coverage, then you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability provided you meet the medical eligibility requirements of the program.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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