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Who is eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits?

If a person has suffered an injury or illness and it has affected their ability to work for a prolonged period of time, they may start to consider their options. Since putting in hours at a person's typical job is out of the question at this point, how does one put food on the table? If a person has worked the appropriate amount of time in a job that contributed to Social Security, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

By definition, an injury or illness must have persisted and put a person out of a job one year in order to seek SSD. The next question one needs to answer before one can begin to receive SSD benefits is whether they suffer from a medical condition that meets the Social Security's definition of debilitating injury or illness. There are countless injuries and illnesses on this list, so one's condition is most likely listed.

Now that you have answered these questions and have determined that you or a loved one are in fact eligible for benefits, how do you go about securing them? The process for determining one's eligibility and proving one's eligibility to receive SSD benefits is not quite so quick. There is a multi-step process in which a person must provide evidence that prove one's need for SSD. Do not be discouraged, but be aware that many people are denied the first time, due to lack of information or some other reason.

However, an initial denial of one's SSD benefits application does not mean that one isn't eligible. It could simply mean that the application did not contain the appropriate information or the right evidence. It is about preparing the information appropriately. Allowing the SSA to see why you or a loved one is deserving of SSD is the key to achieving the benefits one deserves.

Source:, "Disability Planner: How you qualify," March 20, 2017

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