Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability (SSD) program is a federal program overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides financial assistance to people who are classified as disabled under the agency’s definition, which is the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” In other words, you are disabled if you are unable to work due to an illness or medical condition that is life threatening or is expected to continue for or has lasted for at least one year, this includes both mental and physical conditions. You would also be eligible if you become blind. SSD pays benefits to the disabled person and qualifying members of their family if they have worked long enough to be considered “insured” and have paid taxes into the Social Security system. Determinations of Disability are based on earnings requirements and medical conditions.

Monthly payments come from the Social Security payroll taxes that you paid into the system over the years as protection in case you became disabled. You have a right to these benefits! This is not a governmental hand-out, but your money that the government set aside for exactly this reason. The amount of your benefits is based on your prior earnings and the amount of Social Security taxes you paid into the system over the years.

You have the right to legal representation before Social Security and competent legal representation is often vital to your success. Social Security Disability is one of the most complex areas of the Social Security Program. It is difficult to be successful on your own. Legal fees can be paid from past due benefits if your claim is successful. Social Security will set aside a portion of any past due benefits you may be entitled to pay representation fees to make getting representation easier.