Showing posts with label Disability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disability. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2022

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?

There are several programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provide financial assistance to individuals with disabilities.

The two main programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify for benefits under either program, applicants must meet certain medical and non-medical requirements.

What Is Considered a Disability?

The first step in determining whether or not you qualify for benefits is understanding what the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a “disability.” 

To award benefits, the SSA defines a disability as the inability to work due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected to result in death or last at least 12 months.

In order for your condition to meet this definition, it must completely prevent you from being able to perform basic work activities. Additionally, your condition must be supported by medical evidence from qualified sources.

What if Your Condition Is Not Listed?

Just because your particular condition is not listed in the SSA’s Blue Book doesn’t mean that you won’t qualify for benefits. The SSA will consider all of the facts in your case, including your age, education, past work experience, and residual functional capacity (RFC), in order to determine whether or not there are other types of work that you can still perform, given your limitations. If the SSA finds that there is other work you can do, then your claim will be denied.

Medical Requirements

In addition to qualifying conditions, applicants must submit medical evidence documenting their disability to the SSA. This evidence can come from doctors' notes, hospital records, test results, etc.

Gender and Age Requirements

There are no gender requirements to qualify for social security disability benefits. However, there are age requirements. Applicants for SSDI benefits must be 18 years or older. For SSI benefits, applicants must be 65 years or older, blind, or permanently and severely disabled.

Work History Requirements

As mentioned earlier, there is a work history requirement to qualify for SSDI benefits. To qualify for SSDI benefits, applicants must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security for a minimum number of years. 

The number of years required depends on the applicant's age. SSI does not have this same requirement, although you still need to be a citizen or a certain type of legal alien.


If you think you may qualify for social security disability benefits, the best thing to do is reach out to the SSA directly to discuss your unique case. You can also look for a law office in your area that specializes in SSDI cases. An attorney will know how to navigate the system and can make things a lot easier for you. Every case is unique, but hopefully, this post has given you a general idea of who qualifies for Social Security Disability and how to utilize these benefits.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Preparing for the Unexpected: 4 Tips to Consider if Your Spouse Can’t Work Anymore

When the unthinkable occurs, it can be easy to get stuck on all of the “what ifs” that run through our heads: Am I the family breadwinner now? What happens to the kids if something happens to me too? Fortunately, there are many steps you and your partner can take to ensure a stable financial future for your family.

See If Your Spouse Is Eligible for Unemployment

If your spouse is still able to work in some capacity, unemployment is a great way to providing stable income for your family during the job hunt. According to the Department of Labor, your spouse is eligible for unemployment as long as they are unemployed through no fault of their own and they meet state requirements for time worked or wages earned. 

They may be required to document their search for a new job weekly or biweekly in order to continue receiving benefits. Laws vary based on state and based on which type of unemployment your spouse is applying for.

Consider Working from Home

Working from home can give your spouse a greater sense of confidence and autonomy than you might expect. The online workforce has a variety of engaging jobs from content creation to being a virtual assistant. 

Freelancing platforms like Upwork or Textbroker can help your spouse get started building their new business and finding clients. However, freelancing isn’t always reliable; slow seasons and competition make the online market an iffy option for families with immediate financial needs.

File for Disability

If your spouse is totally unable to work, filing for disability can take much of the financial pressure off of you and your family. Social Security disability is available to anyone that has worked in a job covered by Social Security that also has a medical condition meeting Social Security’s definition of disability

Consider streamlining the application and approval process by using Social Security disability attorney services to make sure you and your spouse receive the amount of monthly compensation you deserve.

Stay Calm and Avoid Catastrophic Thinking

The most important thing to do when life throws you a curveball is to avoid catastrophic thinking. Spend a little time everyday focusing on the positives in your life. It’s important to separate the person from the pain; unemployment and disability place strain on any marriage, making it vital to lean towards each other rather than away from each other during this trying time. 

Consider setting aside time every week to spend focusing on your romantic relationship with your spouse, whether it be family dinner night or watching television together.

No one ever wants to deal with another of life’s trials, and if your spouse is struggling, chances are that you are too. Always remember why you got married in the first place and never forget the age-old adage: this too shall pass.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Financial and Emotional Benefits of Vocational Rehab

CO: ATU Local 1001 hearing with RTD to prevent strike

The unemployment rate in America has been tragically high for the past few years, but the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is much higher. Midway through 2013, over 13 percent of disabled people are without work - and those are only the ones who are actively looking. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, a surprising 8 out of 10 disabled people aren't in the labor force at all. In order to combat these statistics, every state has a public vocational rehabilitation agency. These agencies employ vocational rehab counselors who help veterans and other clients struggling with physical and mental conditions identify their career goals and personal skills and then identify the support they need for employment. While many disabled people might not consider themselves candidates for work, VR counselors can open doors to greater financial and emotional security.

1. Developing your IPE

Anyone who is receiving Social Security Disability is eligible for VR services unless they are too profoundly disabled to benefit from them. And even if you're not on Disability, any condition which presents an obvious barrier to employment can qualify you for VR. When you are assigned a counselor, their job is to work with you to formulate an IPE - Individual Plan for Employment. 

Vocational rehab is not about just sticking you in the first job you can get. It's about discussing your interests and skills and finding out what you'd most like to do, then carving out a path for you to work in that industry. This can involve assessing the most basic needs, such as transportation to and from work or an interpreter for deaf clients. And it can also involve major needs like college classes, training, and actual placement assistance. 

Often, your VR counselor will refer you to other organizations or resources. They may send clients to a community rehabilitation provider, which can provide more extensive services and update the counselor on your progress.

2. After You Find Employment

Most people don't realize that VR services continue even after you have found a job. Support and counseling is available for at least 90 days following placement, and your services can continue for up to three years after your case is closed. 

Disabled clients often go to work and find they need a period of adjustment to the facilities, or that the tools they need to do the job aren't always available. VR counselors can be your advocate, making sure the company is accommodating you and you will be able to keep your job once you've found it. 

According to NPR, the federal government pays more for disabled workers than for food stamps and welfare combined. With an increased number of elderly and diseased workers in this country, you will find your ability and drive to succeed in the workplace will be applauded, and the services you need will be provided at little or no cost.

3. Why Work is Important

Steampunk Wheelchair
Many disabled people are afraid to reach out for VR benefits because they're intimidated by the prospect of employment. But the psychological benefits of work are numerous, especially for those who have already felt isolated by their condition. 

The self-worth that comes with employment has been proven to stave off depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues. While over 17 million Americans suffer from depression every year, the risk is up to 10 times larger for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. 

Feelings of hopelessness and frustration, as well as a lack of interest in activities or daily life, can be associated with the increased challenges a disabled individual faces. That's why helping them find employment, especially in a field they enjoy and feel passionately about, can make all the difference to their quality of life. Plus, being able to financially support yourself is a huge boost to your well-being and mental state.

The services available from Vocational Rehab counselors are extensive, and you should never assume you don't qualify. Every American should be able to pursue their goals and live their dreams, no matter what physical or mental barrier is standing in their way. VR can be the first step to overcoming your fear and taking back your life.

Brett Harris supports his local vocational rehabilitation center by volunteering his time to help the counselors. If counseling interests you as a career, check out the Top Online Masters in Counseling Programs offered by several schools.

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