We don’t like to plan for something like a medical disability, but while it’s more fun to think of planning for retirement vacations, having a safety net to fall back on should you become disabled is something you should consider. And this is where Social Security and the social security attorneys at McCue Law Office in Bangor can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are complicated legal processes that are not easily understood by the average person. Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits is an even harder process to navigate. Over 60% of applicants are denied benefits at the initial stage of application, and over 80% of those who appeal are denied at the reconsideration level. However, having an experienced social security attorney to advocate for you from the start can increase your odds! 

If you’re wondering whether you might qualify for SSD benefits or simply want more information, continue reading to learn more. You can also explore our page on SSDI to learn about our social security disability attorneys.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Social Security Disability provides benefits to people who cannot work because of a medical condition. If you have lost your ability to work, you’ll still need money to help pay for your medical care and day-to-day expenses. Social Security Disability Insurance is there for you and helps you pay your bills by giving you monthly cash benefits. 

The benefit amount for Social Security Disability is calculated by considering the following factors:

  • Your average income while you were in the workforce (adjusted for inflation).
  • Your primary insurance amount, if you have a private long-term disability insurance policy.
  • The family maximum, which includes retired workers and disabled workers. 

Eligibility For Social Security Disability

Disability Insurance Benefits are available to people who have worked a job where you paid Social Security (FICA) taxes. If you haven’t worked long enough before becoming disabled, or have a low income and assets, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income instead. Our Bangor based social security attorneys can help you understand the difference and determine which option fits your situation. 

Eligibility for Social Security Disability relies on a credit system. Depending on your job, you can earn up to four work credits per year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits depends on how old you were when you became disabled. In general, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last ten years before you become disabled.

Because younger people don’t have as much time to accrue work credits, they may be able to qualify with fewer credits. The credits you earn over the years you work remain on your Social Security record even if you change jobs or have a break in employment. Here is a general number of credits you need for disability benefits depending on your age:

  • Before 24: 1.5 years of work, or 6 credits, in the 3 years prior to becoming disabled.
  • 24 – 20: credits for half the time between age 21 and the time you became disabled.
  • 31 – 42: 20 credits, 5 years of work.
  • 50: 28 credits, 7 years of work.
  • 60: 38 credits, 9.5 years of work.
  • 62 or older: 40 credits, 10 years of work.

These credit numbers are general categories, and our social security attorneys are more than happy to talk with you about how the credit system applies to your personal situation.

What Qualifies As A Disability?

The definition of disability under Social Security is a very strict definition of disability. There are no benefits for people who have a partial disability or short-term disability. Proving that you have a severe disability is one of the most difficult parts of applying for Social Security Disability benefits, and it’s something our social security attorneys can help you with. You are considered disabled under Social Security rules if you meet all three of these qualifications: 

  • You can no longer do the type of work you did previously.
  • It is determined that you cannot adjust to another type of work because of your medical condition.
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

There is a long list of medical conditions that are considered so severe that they prevent those suffering from one of the conditions from being gainfully employed. Social Security law is a complex and ever changing form of legislation, which is why it’s always helpful to have a social security attorney working for you. You may have a special situation — like having low vision, or are supporting a disabled child, or are a wounded vetern — that may qualify you for benefits that you didn’t know about. 

McCue Law Office Social Security Attorneys in Bangor

McCue Law Office in Bangor is a small firm specializing in personal injury, bankruptcy, social security disability, workers’ compensation, and real estate. Our social security attorneys are committed to helping you get the benefits you deserve! We always operate on contingency fees, which means we only get paid if you do. Put our more than 35 years of experience to work for you! Contact us today for a free consultation.