Who Is Eligible For Social Security Disability?

Have you been denied disability? Frustrated with the system? I understand. When I worked for the Social Security Administration, I saw firsthand how the application and appeals process is often lengthy and wrought with bureaucratic requirements and red tape. We are committed to helping individuals understand more about how the Social Security Disability benefits program works.

Understanding Basic Eligibility Criteria

The most common questions my we get when we talk with SSD applicants concern the basic eligibility criteria for disability. As your attorney, I will work with you to determine if you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. You may qualify if you are not working or earning less than $1,040 per month.

If you are not working, you can establish eligibility as a result of work history reflecting jobs covered by Social Security. When you are employed, you accrue Social Security credits congruent with your earnings or self-employment income. 

As a former staff attorney for the Social Security Administration, I used to review applicants’ work history records to determine whether they were ineligible for benefits. As your Amherst SSD attorney, during our initial consultation, I will help you calculate whether you have sufficient credits to qualify for disability insurance benefits.

Understanding Need-Based Eligibility

I have met many hard-working disabled individuals in Amherst who do not have the work history necessary for eligibility for Disability Insurance Benefits. Even if we determine that you are not eligible for Disability Insurance Benefits, you may be eligible for Supplemental Disability Insurance where income is a major factor. In other words, a claimant’s income must be below a certain level in order to establish eligibility.

Prior to establishing my disability law firm in Amherst, I became very familiar with how federal regulations define income as a staff attorney for the Social Security Administration. As your disability lawyer, I will use this experience to make sure the Social Security Administration properly calculates your income and resources for the purposes of establishing your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income.

Understanding The Disability Standard

Not every disabling condition renders an applicant eligible for disability. First, your condition must be one likely to result in your death (i.e., terminal) or likely to last longer than 12 months. Second, your condition must be so severe that it interferes with your ability to do the tasks required by your job. Third, the SSA will also review your education, age and background to determine if you are able to perform other types of work.

Seems pretty straightforward? Unfortunately, the disability application process is more complex than my description. Kathleen and I regularly talk to western New Yorkers who are thinking about applying for Social Security Disability benefits and many are discouraged by the horror stories they hear about applying for benefits. You need an attorney with an inside view of disability claims adjudication to help you through this stressful and dehumanizing process.

Law Offices of Pashler & Devereaux have over two decades of experience in fighting for the disadvantaged, and we will use our knowledge of disability law to provide you with quality representation.

Call 716-246-1474 or complete our contact form today to see how we can help.