Social Security Disability – Determining Eligibility
A serious injury can change your life and limit your ability to earn a livelihood for you and your family. Thankfully, if you find yourself in this situation you may be eligible to receive social security disability benefits. However, not everyone who gets injured receives disability. In order to qualify, there are certain criteria that you must meet. That’s where we come in. At Boettcher & Lobaugh, we have over 30 years of experience focusing primarily on employment law. Because of that, we have the knowledge to help you weigh your options and assist you with the process of qualifying for disability.
Email Boettcher & Lobaugh or call (580)-765-2541 today.
Part of determining eligibility for disability has to do with how severe your condition is. To keep from having to make a decision for each case, there is actually a list of medical conditions for each of the major body systems that are so severe that they automatically mean that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, that doesn’t mean that you don’t qualify. It just means that you don’t automatically qualify.
Along the same lines, disability benefits aren’t for people who break a finger on the job and have to miss a few weeks of work. That’s where workers’ compensation comes into play. But for injuries or conditions that last a bit longer, disability might be an option. In order to qualify for disability, typically the condition that you have needs to last at least a year or lead to death. Otherwise, workers’ compensation might be the more appropriate option for your situation.
Another thing they look at is age. If you are 65 or older, you will not qualify for disability. Thankfully, you should be able to collect retirement benefits by then.
Are you still able to work? If so, that doesn’t necessarily disqualify you. But it does add another criteria that you need to meet, which is your income amount. The amount can change from year to year, but in 2014 if your average earnings exceed $1070 per month, you generally are not considered disabled.
In order to qualify for social security disability benefits, you need to have earned a certain amount of credits. These credits are based on your work record and how much money you’ve earned. In 2013, workers received one credit for each $1160 you earn for a maximum of 4 credits earned per year. Most of the time you are required to have earned 20 credits over the last 10 years in order to qualify.
There are other things that factor in to whether or not you are eligible for disability. If you are in a position where you need to apply for disability, the important thing is to explore all of your options. At Boettcher & Lobaugh, our clients don’t choose us just for our extensive experience in employment law. What they appreciate the most is the one-on-one personal attention that they receive. We will work diligently to get you the benefits you need to take care of you and your family. To schedule a consultation, contact us or call us at (580)-765-2541 today.