How Do You Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

July 18, 2017

In the United States, some people, especially people with disabilities, need more help than other people do. The U.S. Government recognizes this and therefore has programs and agencies, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), to provide help. Nevertheless, people with disabilities do not receive help from the SSA automatically; they must meet the SSA’s criteria in order to get Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.

In order to get SSD benefits, people must have had jobs, which are covered by Social Security, and have disabilities, which fit the SSA’s definition. Per SSA policy, a disability is a medical condition that:

  • Completely prohibits a person from performing the same work as he or she could before
  • The SSA determines prohibits a person from adapting and doing different jobs
  • Lasted for at least twelve months or is believed to last for at least twelve months or to end when the person dies

Even if a person’s disability fits the SSA’s definition, he or she also has to have worked for a certain amount of time and for a certain amount of recentness. This requirement translates to Social Security work credits, which is made of a person’s annual salary, and a qualifying person can get no more than four credits every year. How many work credits a person needs in order to get SSD benefits depends on how old he or she was when he or she became disabled and thus unable to work. However, generally speaking, a person needs at least forty credits and has gotten at least twenty of the forty in the last decade, including the year he or she became disabled.

What disabilities does the SSA recognize?

The SSA’s definition for the word disability is broad, but strict, and figuring out whether a person’s disability fits the definition can be difficult. Fortunately, the SSA has a list of disabilities, which it officially recognizes.

The SSA does not provide help to people with disabilities automatically; people with disabilities must have a disability, which fits the SSA’s definition, and enough work credits.

If you, a relative, and/or a friend are having trouble getting disability benefits near Philadelphia, contact us Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW. We are proud to serve our clients in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.