Disability is unpredictable and often tragic; it can happen to anyone at any age, at any time. One in four workers who are now 20 years old will be disabled before reaching retirement age. When a disability robs someone of the capacity to earn a living, Social Security disability benefits can provide crucial help in a time of genuine need. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you receive the benefits you’ll need.
When workers “pay into” Social Security, they earn “credits” that count toward retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. The number of credits needed to become eligible for disability benefits depends on your age and on the dates and amount of your work. Younger applicants require fewer credits, but most claimants will need at least ten years of work to qualify for disability benefits.
To receive those benefits, you must suffer from a disability that makes you unable to work for at least twelve months (or from a condition that’s terminal). If your disability makes you unable to work for at least the next year, apply now. Typically, the state agency that evaluates your claim takes three or four months to make its decision. If the claim is approved, your first Social Security disability payment will be for the sixth month after the state agency determines your eligibility. (For example, if the state agency determines you qualify for benefits effective January 15, your first disability payment would be for July and received in August.).
A good disability lawyer will help you with the documentation you need and with the complicated application process. If your initial application has been denied, have an experienced disability attorney help you with an appeal; appeals are invariably more successful than initial claims. Working with a good disability attorney is the wisest way to win your benefits and to receive them promptly.