If you become unable to work because of physical or mental disability, you become eligible to collect social security benefits for disability insurance.
Social Security has two disability programs.
One, SSI (Supplementary Social Security) is based on need and is a type of national welfare benefit.
The other, OASDI (Old Age and Survivors Disability Insurance) is the basic social security insurance program into which workers pay the FICA tax.
The disability guidelines for acceptance are the same for both programs, except you don’t have to prove financial need for the basic OASDI program.
You’re eligible if you worked and paid into the system for 20 quarters out of the last 40 and have the necessary work credit, depending on your age.
Benefits are based on what you’ve paid into the system.
If you haven’t paid into the system for over 10 years, you’re not eligible for disability benefits, though you may be eventually eligible for retirement benefits.
Social Security’s definition of medical disability is the inability to do any substantial, gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
Here are the steps to take to apply:
Social Security has a long list of impairments under which your disability should fall.
The listing is broken down into 13 body systems and outlines exactly what tests must be met for disability.
It is imperative that your doctor submit very precise medical information.
Ask at your local Social Security office for the Code of Federal Regulations especially sections 20CFR404 and 20CFR416.
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