Sometimes tragedy can occur and you are forced to cope with an injury or illness that is debilitating and undermines your ability to earn a living. For adults who cannot work due to a health problem, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can provide a lifeline. Unfortunately, filing a claim or appealing one that has been denied can be a difficult and confusing process that does not yield the results you want and the benefits you need to live. Attorney Amanda J. Spencer is a Social Security Disability attorney in San Antonio, TX, with the experience needed to help her clients pursue the full benefits they are due.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability
Most individuals understand Social Security as the retirement benefit you receive at age 65. However, this system also provides other services. Any adult unable to work for a year or more due to illness or injury may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (Title II) or Supplemental Security benefits (Title XVI). Unlike workers' compensation, an individual does not have to be hurt on the job, or have work-related health problems to qualify for SSD.
SSD benefits are based on money withheld from your earnings and paid to Social Security by your employer over the course of your career. If no money is paid in, then an individual does not accrue benefits. Coverage may exist, but can expire if benefits are not paid in for a long period of time. However, a person who must stop working due to illness or injury may be able to claim benefits, even if several years have passed without money being paid into Social Security.
Some of the conditions covered by SSD are:
- Heart disease and heart failure
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spine disorders or injuries
- Back injuries, or ruptured disks
- Blindness and loss of vision
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Liver disease
- Kidney failure
- Anxiety or depression
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Chronic pain or fibromyalgia
If you qualify for SSD, you must file a claim in order to begin pursuing financial benefits.