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Social Security Disability FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What does the Social Security Administration consider to determine if I am disabled?

A:

A. Have you worked a total of 5 of the past 10 years?

B. Do you have a severe physical or mental impairment or combination of both that will keep you from working for at least 12 continuous months?

C. Do you have medical or psychological documentation to support your impairment?

D. Are you able to do any of the work you have done in the past 15 years?

E. Are you able to do any other type of work?

Q:

Do I have to wait till I am off work for 12 continuous months before I can apply for Social Security Disability?

A:

No, you can apply as long as your physical or mental impairment is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 consecutive months or, is expected to result in death.

Q:

What happens if my disabling impairment has improved?

A:

As long as your impairment has kept you from working for at least 12 continuous months, you can still apply for Social Security Disability.

Q:

I have not worked 5 of the past 10 years, can I still apply for Social Security Disability?

A:

The alternate disability program is Supplemental Security Income which is available to those who have not worked a total of 5 of the past 10 years. The criteria for “disability” are the same however, the benefits you are entitled to are based on other resources available to you, i.e., other income in the household, savings and checking accounts, pensions, investments, etc.