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Understanding Social Security Disability

Workers in this country who are in their 20s have a 30 percent chance of having a disabling condition that would keep them from working for at least three months but, like most Americans, do not have disability insurance. Social Security Disability can provide needed financial support in some cases of long-term disability. There are several things to understand about this program.

SSDI provides benefits to workers who cannot work because of a qualifying disability or illness. Payroll deductions for Social Security finances this program. Benefits can be paid for the entire length of the disability until the worker reaches retirement age.

Work credits are accumulated by earning and paying Social Security taxes on a specific sum of money. A worker earned one credit for every $1,320 in wages or self-employment income in 2018.The work credit requirement is reduced for younger workers.

Workers eligible for SSDI receive benefits calculated on their work and wage history. The SSA calculated benefits based upon this information placed into a formula.

Recipients cannot be engaged in a substantial gainful activity earning $1,180 from working per month, or $1,979 for workers who are blind. They cannot be able to perform any job for which they were qualified in addition to the work they performed before their disability.

Recipients must also meet the SSA's definition of disability. The condition must last a year or result in death, prevent a person from doing the work they are qualified, and significantly limit the ability to do basic work activities such as walking, sitting, standing or remembering information.

The SSA's blue book must contain a listing of this impairment. Almost half of all applicants are denied because the blue book does not contain their impairment.

Another program, supplemental security income, provides benefits to workers with a disabling condition, low income and limited assets. Recipients over 65 may also qualify. General tax revenue funds this program. People may be eligible regardless of their work history if they have low income and limited resources.

An attorney can help with seeking these benefits and appeal denied claims. A lawyer may also assist with gathering information and navigating a complex process.

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