Social Security Disability — Know the Eligibility Requirements

Nobody wants to be sidelined from their life’s work because of a disability. If illness or injury prevents you from working, it is important that you know your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. You will need to prove your case and navigate the filing process to land securely in the safety net of the government benefits program.

Definition of Disability

Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial or short-term disability. Total disability means an inability to work, based on a finding that:

  • You cannot do the work that you did before.
  • You cannot perform other work because of your medical condition.
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

The facts of your case will determine whether you meet this threshold of eligibility. When you do, you should be aware that those dependent on you may also be eligible.

Family Members Eligible for Disability Benefits

Once the Social Security Administration approves your disability claim, other family members may also be eligible, including:

  • Your spouse, age 62 or over: Even if they have never worked under Social Security, your spouse may be able to receive benefits if they are at least 62 years of age and you are receiving, or are eligible for, disability benefits.
  • Your spouse, caring for a child: If your spouse is caring for a child of yours who is younger than age 16 or who is disabled, they are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
  • Your child, under age 18: Including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild or grandchild is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if they are younger than age 18, or between 18 and 19 and are unmarried and a full-time student up to grade 12.
  • Your disabled child, age 18 or older: A child, unmarried, who has a disability that started before age 22 is eligible for benefits. Even though these benefits are tied to the parent’s disability, the child’s disability itself must also meet the Social Security Disability criteria.

What if I’m Still Working? Am I Eligible for SSD?

Seek reliable legal advice from our experienced Maryland lawyers today

Located in Maryland, the attorneys at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. are experienced in Social Security Disability eligibility criteria, claims, denials and appeals. We are available 24/7 and welcome the opportunity to speak to you.