In order to be able to receive Social Security disability payments, a number of guidelines and requirements have to be followed. First of all, the benefit is only available to those who have worked in a job that gets covered by Social Security. Furthermore, Social Security requires you to have a medical condition that they recognize as being a disability. Payments are generally made on a monthly basis and only to those who are unable to work for at least one year due to their disability. The benefit payments will continue to be made monthly until you are able to go back to work. In order to help people return to work as soon as possible, Social Security has a number of incentives in place. For instance, in order to make it easier to get back into work, benefit payments and health care coverage will continue for a period of time. If there has been no return to employment on retirement age, the benefit will convert to retirement benefit automatically. There will be no change in the amount of benefit received at this point.
There are very strict guidelines and rules in terms of determining what “disability” actually means. The definition of disability is different within Social Security. This is mainly because Social Security only pays for total disability. If the disability is only partial or short-term, it is not considered. Being disabled means that you are unable to work. Three specific rules have to be met in order to be classed as disabled. Firstly, they have to be unable to do the work they did before. The second point is that your job can not be adapted in order to make it possible for you to continue to work. Finally, the disability you have is expected to continue for at least one year or you are terminally ill and expected to die in less than one year. These rules may seem unduly strict to some, but Social Security feels that adults should have their own support network in case of a short term illness. They may have workers’ compensation, savings, insurance and investments for instance.
On the other hand, there are a number of special situations that Social Security does recognize. The first is that those who are blind or have a type of impaired vision may be able to receive the benefit. Some benefits also exist for the widower or widow of the worker. There are also benefits in place for children with disabilities. Last but not least, payments exist for wounded warriors. If you feel you should receive some form of payment but you do not come under the definition or the special situations, it is best to speak to a medical professional firstly.