Qualifying For Social Security Disability

The eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability benefits seem straightforward, but as interpreted and applied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), it becomes more complex. Our team at the Law Office of David M. Shore will help you understand the requirements for eligibility, and whether you have a case.

From our office in Oceanside, we represent Social Security Disability claimants throughout north San Diego County, Riverside County and Orange County. We regularly conduct free, initial consultations by phone and in person, so contacting us is easy and risk-free.

The Basic Considerations

The SSA considers a claimant qualified for disability if both of the following are true:

  • You worked in jobs covered by Social Security.
  • You have a medical impairment that meets the SSA's definition of disability.

Yet, as an experienced attorney will tell you, meeting both of these requirements often involves a further explanation.

Jobs Covered By Social Security

Most jobs are covered by Social Security, and even self-employed individuals are covered if they have paid their Social Security taxes. A common exception is that some local and state government workers have a separate pension plan.

However, simply working in a qualifying job isn't enough. To claim disability benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify. Under the SSA, a worker earns a "credit" for a specific dollar amount of income (which may be different each year) until he or she has earned four credits in that one year. The general rule is that the claimant must earn 40 credits, but 20 of those must be earned in the last 10 years up to the year of disability.

How the SSA Defines Disability

In addition to working in a qualified job, you must have a medical condition that:

  • Prevents your ability to perform the work previously done
  • Prevents you from performing other work that may be available
  • Is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death

Having represented individuals in the north county area for over 35 years, our legal team knows that meeting these requirements of the SSA's definition is the biggest hurdle to obtaining a disability award. We can help you demonstrate how your situation meets these criteria, whether you are just starting an application or appealing a denied claim.

Call Our Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer Today

If you cannot work, make sure you give yourself the best chance for approval by working with an experienced attorney. Call the Law Office of David M. Shore at 760-477-1180 today for a free case evaluation.