The Social Security Administration pays benefits to qualified individuals in Kentucky and around the country who have been unable to work for valid reasons for a year or more. In order to qualify, an applicant’s occupation must first be a job covered by Social Security. Also, the resulting medical issue must meet the SSA’s definition of what’s considered a disability. The basic goal is to help individuals transition back to work whenever possible.

Applicants must have worked long enough and recent enough to receive benefits. Work credits are based on yearly wages or income earned by self-employment. Also, applicants must be unable to do the work they did previously and have a disability expected to last a year or more or result in death. The process begins when an individual seeking benefits sends an application to a Disability Determination Services office. The condition must interfere with basic work-related activities.

Social Security only provides benefits for total disability. SSD applicants need to be evaluated to determine if they are able to do any other type of work based on factors such as their age, education, experience, and transferable skills. Special circumstances that may qualify an individual for disability payments include being blind or having low vision that cannot be corrected better than 20/200 in the better eye. Benefits are sometimes given to a widow/widower or surviving divorced spouse with a disability. Disabled children may be able to receive benefits that continue into adulthood.

Because qualifying for SSD benefits is often a time-consuming and challenging process, an attorney can be a much-appreciated resource for applicants. As many claims are initially denied, having the assistance of qualified counsel can be advisable at all stages of the process.