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The Basics of Social Security Disability Requirements

Published February 25, 2021 by The Law Offices of John Drew Warlick, P.A.
The Basics of Social Security Disability Requirements

Social Security Disability provides disabled workers in North Carolina and qualifying family members with financial support. The federal government funds the program, and the Social Security Administration has the power to administer funding. However, the worker must meet qualifications to draw the benefits.

SSD Work Requirements

A worker must earn enough credits that convert to points to be eligible for SSD. The SSD figures these credits based on self-employment income or annual work wages. A worker needs to earn a minimum of 40 points, or four credits per year, and earn $1,470 per credit.

These credits don’t start counting until the date the disability started, and older workers commonly need more credits. A worker between 24 and 31years old may qualify with fewer credits if they worked half the time since they became disabled. For example, a 26-year-old worker who became disabled at 22 needs to work two years to be eligible.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

The worker must have a qualifying medical condition listed in the Blue Book, the guide the SSA issues. The condition should also keep the worker from performing at full capacity with no foreseeable end to the disability. For example, a broken arm from a fall does not usually qualify since it will likely heal over time.

The Blue Book gets updated yearly, and many common conditions are included. Some conditions listed in the book include respiratory conditions, heart conditions, speech issues, sense issues, musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, mental disorders and various syndromes. While the condition doesn’t have to be listed in the Blue Book, the SSD may determine whether workers can perform other tasks on the same job or a different job.

Workers should expect their initial Social Security Disability claim to get denied as the majority of claims are. However, it doesn’t mean the worker has to accept the denial. A lawyer may be able to help them with an appeal.

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