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What ‘Disabled’ Means When Applying for Social Security in Harrisburg

Posted Scott B. Cooper on Mar 08, 2014 in Social Security Disability

Caught the flu? Use a sick day. Missed work for weeks after an accident? Try workers’ compensation. Diagnosed with a serious illness? It might be time to consider applying for Social Security Disability.

When it comes to applying for social security disability, the laws are quite strict. To be eligible for these benefits you must meet all of the following three criteria:

1. Unable to Continue Work     

An illness or injury that leaves you unable to perform all of your work duties may not qualify you for social security disability. This program does not pay for partial disability, so you will only be eligible to receive social security disability benefits if your injury or illness has left you totally disabled and unable to perform the job you held before you became sick.

2. Unable to Obtain New Work

Similarly, if you are able to transition to a new job, you will not be eligible for Social Security. Disability benefits are reserved for people whose injuries or illnesses have left them no longer able to perform the duties of any job with the skills they possess.

3. Long-Term Disability

While many people suffer accidents or illnesses that force them to take a temporary leave of absence from work, these people are typically not eligible to receive social security benefits. An illness qualifies you for Social Security Disability only if it has already lasted a full year or is expected to keep you from work for at least a year.

Proving that all three of these criteria apply to your current situation may be difficult. If you need help getting the benefits you desperately need following a debilitating injury or illness, you should consult with a Harrisburg injury lawyer who is experienced in the complicated rules and regulations of the Social Security Disability Program.