Published On: Tue, May 7th, 2019

How Do Disability Benefits Work and Who’s Entitled to them?

When someone becomes injured or ill and is no longer able to work, they may be entitled to receive disability benefits. These benefits provide for the cost of living of the individual and medical insurance coverage. Those who are facing the inability to work, due to a disability, need to be aware of the Social Security Disability Program and the benefits it offers.

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Filing for Disability

When it comes to filing for disability, many people have a difficult time understanding disability benefits. Although the filing process is meant to be straightforward, individuals are often denied simply due to human error. Some people choose to hire a lawyer to help them through the process so they can rest assured the forms are properly filed.

How Do Disability Benefits Work?

When someone is approved for disability, they will begin receiving monthly checks based on their income and how many disability credits they have earned. As of 2019, that average is $1,197 a month. Individuals will need 40 disability credits before they can be approved for disability and half of those must have been earned within the last ten years.

Disability payments are paid to the individual until they are able to go back to work. If the individual receives Social Security Disability Benefits until they reach the age of retirement, their disability payments will convert to retirement payments.

Who Is Entitled to Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration has put forth an exacting set of rules and regulations that must be met before someone is approved for benefits. Individuals must meet the following rules to be approved for disability benefit payments.

· The individual can no longer do the work they did before.

· The SSA decides the individual can do no other work due to their medical condition.

· The disability is expected to last at least one year or will lead to death.

Those who are still working and making over $1,220 a month will generally be unable to obtain disability benefits. Those who are not working will need to submit their application and it will be sent to the Disability Determination Office to determine their eligibility for disability benefits.

This office has a list of medical conditions that are so severe, keeping gainful employment becomes impossible. Most of these are considered permanent conditions or those that will eventually lead to death. The medical condition of the applicant must be severe enough to warrant disability benefits being approved.

The key to being approved for disability benefits is having substantial medical records that back up the disability diagnosis. Those who are denied benefits have the right to appeal both informally and formally which will eventually result in an administrative law hearing.


When a disabling physical or mental condition strikes, individuals have the right to seek disability benefits as long as they meet the requirements that have been set forth by the federal government. A five-month waiting period is required before individuals can begin receiving disability benefits each month.

The process from application to approval can sometimes be lengthy, but prompt action will help to ensure the process proceeds as smoothly as possible. It is imperative individuals take time in learning their rights as a disabled individual. It is also crucial all paperwork is filled out carefully and filed correctly so time is not wasted.

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