Disability may seem unlikely to many people, however, a 20-year old worker has a 25 percent chance of becoming disabled prior to reaching retirement age. This makes Social Security disability (SSD) insurance benefits all the more important to understand. Social Security disability benefits are available to disabled individuals who suffer from a medical condition that is so severe that it prevents them from working and is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death. Social Security disability is a program workers pay into during their work years.

It is important that disabled individuals understand how to meet this requirements in the SSD application to qualify for benefits. In addition to medical records, they must provide work-related information that demonstrates their disability renders them unable to work. The social Security Administration will evaluate the type of work the disabled individual has done in the past and if the medical condition they suffer from prevents them from being able to engage in their work or another type of work.

When including work-related information in the application for disability benefits, the applicant should provide the tasks they commonly performed; the dates they worked; the number of hours a day they worked; the rate of pay they received; the tools, machinery and equipment they used at work; the knowledge, skills and abilities the work required; the extent of supervision the disabled individual had at work; amount of independent judgment the disabled individual exercised while at work; objects the disabled individual was required to lift; the physical expectations and requirements of the disabled individual’s job; and the environmental conditions of the disabled individual’s workplace.

It is important to demonstrate the extent of the disabled individual’s disability to qualify for SSD benefits for illness or other medical conditions creating a disability. Social Security disability benefits provide important financial protections for disabled individuals and their families which is why it is important that they are knowledgeable concerning benefits and how the Social Security Administration evaluates an application for benefits.

Source: Butte County Post, “One fact you should know about disability,” Patty Hoffman, Oct. 31, 2017