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Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability?

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Andrew J. Muirhead

Did you know that, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 60.4 million Americans depend on Social Security, and 19% receive benefits owing to disability? Disabilities can be life-altering, and render employees physically unable to work. Receiving Social Security for disabilities, however, can be a long and challenging process. When might you qualify for Social Security disability, and what can you expect when filing a claim?

Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability?

Wondering how to file for Social Security disability? The very first step is knowing whether you qualify, or whether you are likely to make a reasonable case. What are some of the most basic qualifications for Social Security benefits?

· Age and Residency. At the most basic level, applicants filing for Social Security disability must be at least 18 years old and a permanent resident of the United States, or a U.S. territory.

· Forty Credits. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), anyone born in 1929 or later must work 10 years to qualify for benefits. The SSA uses a system of credits to determine eligibility, and referring back to official SSA publications can be helpful.

· Compassionate Allowances. Likewise, the SSA publishes a list of current Compassionate Allowances. Should you meet any of those terms, and the most basic requirements for Social Security, you will be automatically approved, without a long waiting or screening process.

· Severe Disabilities. In order to qualify for Social Security benefits, disabilities must prevent employees from working a full year, or longer. Applicants should keep in mind, however, that there are always exceptions to the rules. Claims will be assessed on a case-to-case basis, and if applicants do not have a clear-cut case (i.e. falling under Compassionate Allowances), they often benefit from legal advice and guidance from qualified disability attorneys.

What Can You Expect From Social Security Disability Claims?

Social Security and disability payments typically continue until you can go back to work. Keep in mind that you are required to apply for work, when you are able, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against hiring the disabled citizens. The ADA protects workers during the application and hiring process, guarantees disabled workers a fair shot at advancement, and much more.

Questions about how to file for Social Security disability? Know the basics of applying, team up with an attorney in special cases, and consider how long you can reasonably expect to receive benefits.


The Law Offices of Andrew J. Muirhead is a leading Arizona law firm dedicated to the representation of clients involving all aspects of Social Security Disability Law. We handle cases throughout the greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Kingman, Yuma, and all of Arizona.

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