Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability (SSD) are benefits available to those people who have worked at least five of the past 10 years and are now unable to work because of some disability. The first question is whether the individual has earned enough quarters to become eligible for SSD. The rules are somewhat complex, but usually we at Freeman & Freeman can ask the right questions and obtain the information to determine if you have earned enough credits to be eligible for SSD. Sometimes, we have you apply for SSD to determine if you are eligible. The amount you are paid if you are disabled is dependent on what you have paid in. Everyone gets paid a different amount. Sometimes the benefit is low enough where an individual receives both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSD. Sometimes the benefit is high it also pays for any children under 18. If you have children 16 or under, it can also pay for the spouse. Along with SSD comes Medicare. Unfortunately, SSD does not pay from the month you become disabled. Rather, it begins to pay after you have been disabled five full months. You are not eligible for Medicare until 29 months have passed from the month you became disabled. These rules can be somewhat complex and we at Freeman & Freeman can explain how they will apply to you.

In order to be eligible for SSD, you have to be disabled. The rules for being disabled are somewhat complex and are discussed throughout this website. The rules are essentially the following. You have to either not be working at all or if you are working, making under approximately $1000 gross income per month. You must have a physical or mental condition that limits your ability to work. Depending on your age, you may have to prove that you are unable to work full-time or unable to work at all. If you are 50 or over, you may only have to prove you are unable to do the kind of work you have done in the past 15 years. The Social Security Administration looks at your education, your work history and your age in determining whether you are disabled.

As mentioned above, both physical and mental disabilities can qualify you. Mental disabilities can include bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, panic disorder, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and other mental illnesses. You do not have to be “crazy” as it were. You simply have to have a mental illness that affects your ability to get along with other people, concentrate, and or remember how to do things. The kinds of physical disabilities that can qualify you for disability are limitless. Typically they are pain in the back, pain in the neck, pain in the legs, diabetic neuropathy, migraines, seizures, heart disease, and breathing problems such as COPD and emphysema. It can include such illnesses as AIDS and HIV.

As discussed elsewhere, in order to apply for SSD, it is best to go online at the website known as and follow the links to disability. We at Freeman & Freeman are more than happy to help you apply for SSD. There is both an application which asks for personal information and then a report which gives the Social Security Administration information about your education, work history and medical treatment. Typically, we also advise you apply for SSI, which must be done by phone or in person. You can apply for that by calling 1-800-772-1213 and setting up either a phone appointment or face-to-face appointment to complete the application. We recommend that you do that after you have applied for the SSD. If you wish to apply for SSD without our assistance, it can be done by phone if you do not have Internet access. You can obtain Internet access typically at the public library. Because of time constraints, typically we are not able to assist with the SSI application unless a claimant is either illiterate or has difficulty is in functioning on a day-to-day basis because of low intelligence.