Find a Social Security -- Disability Lawyer

Under the Social Security Act, "disability" means "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."

Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

There are several different types of social security disability benefits that are available to those that qualify:

Disability Insurance Benefits – This is the most important type of Social Security disability benefits offered. Disability insurance goes to individuals who have worked five out of the last ten years and who are now disabled.


Disabled Widow's and Widower's Benefits – These benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 years of age and have become disabled within a certain amount of time after the death of their husband or wife. The spouse that died must have earned Social Security benefits for the surviving spouse to collect benefits.

Disabled Adult Child Benefits – Disabled adult child benefits go to the children of persons who are deceased or who are drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits. In order for the child to collect benefits, they must become disabled before the age of 22.

Supplemental Security Income Benefits – Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, is paid to individuals who are poor and who are disabled. Individuals do not have to have been employed to receive SSI benefits. It does not matter whether an individual has worked in the past to receive SSI benefits.

SSI Child's Disability Benefits – SSI child benefits are a variety of SSI benefits paid to children under the age of 18 who are disabled. The way that the benefits are paid is much different than the benefits that are paid to adults.

How does Social Security determine if I am disabled?

Receiving social security benefits for the disabled is determined on a case by case basis. Social Security will start by gathering your medical records and carefully consider your health problems as it relates to your age, education and work experience. The main reason for the review is for Social Security to decide whether you are able to do your past work.

If Social Security decides that you are unable to do your previous job due to a disability, they will then consider whether or not there may be any other work which you can do considering your health problems and your age, education, and work experience. If they decide that you are unable to perform your current job, or another job that you're qualified for, you'll most likely receive disability benefits.

By Chris Saunders           


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