Disability should not stop you from living a normal life, especially if you’ve paid enough Social Security insurance when you were still capable of earning. The government offers programs that aim to repay your contribution—specifically through Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The latter, however, is intended for those who may not meet the minimum contribution amount yet possess certain qualities the Social Security Administration seeks.
An article for Nolo.com discusses disability and the grounds for which a disabled person can become eligible for benefits.
“How the SSA Defines Disability
A crucial part of claiming benefits under either Social Security program is proving that you are severely disabled — that is, that you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from doing any substantial gainful activity and will last at least one year or will cause your death.
The determination of whether you are disabled leaves a lot of room for argument. The fact that your doctor may have advised you not to work, or that you feel too ill to work, does not necessarily mean that the SSA will agree that you are disabled.
The SSA evaluates disability using its own medical experts, based on a list of physical and mental conditions contained in its regulations. These are available on the SSA’s website, at www.ssa.gov (search for “Listing of Impairments”). Be prepared: these listings are highly complex and full of medical terminology.”
Determining a person’s Social Security disability eligibility status after application is a long process that involves a series of interviews and bulky paperwork. Indeed, some applications last for up to 120 days. The quickest way to succeed in the application is to hire a lawyer.
A skilled Social Security Disability lawyer can help you with the paperwork but more importantly will provide proper representation. As someone who’s well-versed in the disability application process, your lawyer can smooth out any issues that might prolong your wait for your well-deserved benefits. In case your initial application has been denied, a lawyer can help you make an appeal.
(Source: Social Security Disability Benefits, Nolo.com)