YOU ASK:

What are the requirements to collect disability insurance from social security?

WE ANSWER:

There are both medical and non-medical requirements for you to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Here is a brief rundown of these requirements:

Medical Requirements

Your medical condition should so impair you in such a way that you are unable to do work or tasks that you have previously. Also, you cannot work other jobs or take on different types of responsibilities due to your medical impairment. In addition, the medical condition should have lasted for over a year or is expected to last at least that long or that the medical condition is reasonably expected to result in death. The Social Security has a list of qualified medical conditions, including:

  • Mental disease and psychological disorders (such as schizophrenia and mental retardation)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Diabetes or diabetic neuropathy
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Spinal or brain injury
  • Some types of cancer

Non-Medical Requirements

  • Ability to get a job. Not only can the person keep his previous job, his medical condition should prevent him from taking other kinds of jobs that he may have been qualified for based on his work experience as well as his educational level and age.
  • Work experience. You should have earned enough work credits for you to be considered eligible.
  • Income. For the year 2010, your income should not exceed $1,000 a month. This can actually be higher, however, if you take into account any expenses that have something to do with your medical disability such as prescription medications or specialized equipment to help you deal with your condition. Note that the income level is adjusted yearly to account for inflation.

With Social Security, there is no such thing as "partial disablement" or partial payments based on the severity of your disablement. It's either you are disabled or not - all or nothing. If you are deemed disabled, you will receive the full benefits, depending on income criteria. If you do not meet the criteria for disability, then the assumption that Social Security has is that you have other sources for benefit payments for short-term disabilities. These may include your savings, income from investments, payments from private disability insurance, benefits from the employer, and last but not the least, workers' compensation.

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