According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 25 percent of adults become disabled by the age of 67 and are often no longer able to work.
If you were previously a part of the work force, you likely paid taxes into the Social Security disability program for a number of years. If you paid into the program for at least five of the 10 years leading up to your disability, you may be eligible for benefits.
The disability application process can be complex and require you to provide a great deal of information to the SSA to prove that your disability prevents you from working. Keep in mind that not being able to find a job in general, or not being able to find a job in your field, does not make you eligible for benefits. You will need to show that your disability keeps you from doing any type of work by showing that you cannot carry out basic work-related tasks such as sitting, standing, or typing. You will also need to establish that the health condition affecting your ability to work will last at least a year or is expected to result in death.
In addition to proving your inability to work, you will need to provide detailed medical information about your disability. You will need to inform the SSA of any diagnoses, doctor visits, treating physicians, and medications you take. You may also include statements made by your treating physicians regarding your condition. A Social Security disability attorney can help you collect this information and can make sure you include everything the SSA needs to evaluate your claim.
Once your application is filed, you will likely have to wait a few months for an SSA evaluator to complete his or her review of your case. If you are approved for benefits, benefits may replace about 40 percent of your income. However, if your application is denied, you can still file an appeal to have the SSA reconsider your claim. For more information on the application process, consult with a disability attorney in your area.