In this article, you will learn:

  • Important information about SSI and SSDI claims
  • The conditions which may qualify someone for benefits

Social Security insurance is the coverage working individuals obtain by paying their social security taxes. As they work and pay into the Social Security system through their taxes, they are buying credits of coverage for both disability and retirement from the government, so that when they reach retirement age, they will have a pension, or if before retirement age they become medically disabled, they would be entitled to draw their retirement pension early as a disability pension.

Social Security Disability Insurance Explained

Whenever you’re paying your taxes and paying your Social Security taxes, that payment goes into the Social Security trust fund. There’s a disability trust fund and a retirement trust fund, and depending on which program you’re eligible for, that determines where the benefits come from. The disability insurance is designed to allow people to receive a pension based on medical disability. Someone may qualify if they have a medical condition expected to last for at least 12 continuous months, or result in death and that prevents them from performing their past work or any other work, given their age, education, and work experience.

Who May Be Eligible For Social Security Disability Or SSDI Or SSI Benefits

To determine if you are eligible, you must determine if you have an insured status, and there are a couple of ways to do that. You can call Social Security and ask them, but you can also apply for a “Social Security” account through the Social Security website, which is ssa.gov. From it, you can pull your earnings record. Some people remember those because Social Security used to mail those out on a pretty regular basis, and it would show you your earnings as an adult, and it would give you an estimate as to your retirement pension, as well as your disability pension. The general rule is that you have to obtain a certain number of quarters of coverage within a certain period of time, which varies based on age. Someone who is 23 doesn’t have to have as many quarters of coverage as someone who is 45, but if you’re over the age of around 30, then basically, you need to have 20 quarters of coverage in the last 40 quarters.

We usually ask people prior to becoming disabled, “have you worked for the 5 years preceding the disability?” If they have, normally they will be insured. If they’ve had some gaps throughout the years in the last ten years, then usually we will contact Social Security, and ask for insured status.

Physical And Mental Disabilities That May Qualify For SSDI Or SSI Benefits

Any physical, or mental impairment that prevents a person from performing the exertional and non -exertional demands of their past work is what establishes a disability. A person is disabled if they cannot perform their past work, and past work is the work that they performed in the 15 years before they became disabled. If they cannot perform past work depending on their age, they may have to also prove they can’t do other work, because, for example, a person who is under the age of 50 must prove they can’t perform their past work as well as any other work that exists in the national economy, even at a sedentary level. So, any physical impairment that limits sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, or pulling can qualify as a disability.

The same idea applies for mental impairments in terms of how they affect someone’s ability to focus, to concentrate and stay on task, perform a routine, deal with co-workers, supervisors, or the general public. You also must have a medically determinable impairment, meaning that there has to be a diagnosis supported by objective medical evidence showing an impairment. Once you establish an impairment, you then look at the restrictions from it. It really depends on the limitations, and it’s never the condition itself.

Some people mistakenly think if they’ve had a traumatic medical event like a stroke or a heart attack that they’re disabled. It’s not the condition itself, it’s the restrictions that flow from it, and those restrictions have to last for at least 12 continuous months in order to be a disability.

For more information on Social Security Disability Insurance In Kentucky, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (859) 681-9111 today.

Stacey Hardin Hibbard PLLC

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(859) 681-9111

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