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How do I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

Disabled individuals who are unable to work may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits or other options that may be available to disabled individuals through the Social Security Administration (SSA). When applying for Social Security disability (SSD) insurance benefits, it is important to understand what medical evidence and other information will be required to be eligible to receive benefits.

According the SSA's definitions and requirements, a disabled individual must be unable to work due to their disability. In addition to being unable to perform the kind of work they commonly engage in due to the disability, the applicant must also be unable to adjust to another type of work. The SSA will evaluate the applicant's ability to perform basic work-related activities including their ability to sit, stand, walk, lift, reach, communicate, use good judgment and respond to supervision.

The disability must result from a physical or mental medical condition that is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death. The applicant's impairment must generally be considered severe which is determined through medical evidence and other methods of evaluation utilized by the SSA. Evidence of the applicant's medical condition can include a report from a doctor, a copy of medical records and laboratory tests. A recognized impairment needs to be established through a diagnosis.

Applicants must also have the necessary work history to qualify for SSD benefits but if they do not, other options may be available to them. Disability benefits are important for many disabled individuals who are unable to work and pay for their medical bills and the basic needs of their daily lives as a result which is why they should be familiar with the SSD application process and options available to them.

Source:, "Are You Eligible For Social Security Disability?" Accessed Jan. 1, 2017

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