Sometimes a chronic medical condition can become so bad that it affects your ability to work. It's always unfortunate news when this happens, especially when it can lead to a situation where you must become unemployed. Besides dealing with unemployment, you will probably have medical bills to handle as well. You may qualify for disability which will allow you Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
The Social Security income disability program is the largest of several Federal programs that help assist people living with disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain family members if you are insured. This means that you have worked for long enough, and have paid for Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial needs.
The Social Security Administration's blue book is a list of medical conditions that automatically qualify an individual for Social Security benefits. The individuals who qualify have severe medical conditions. These impairments are separated based on whether you are an adult or child. The childhood list of impairments is very similar to the adult list, but just includes aspects relating to conditions that affect growth.
The conditions in the Social Security Administration's blue book include skin disorders, endocrine disorders, neurological disorders, immune disorders, the respiratory system, the musculoskeletal system, special senses and speech, and more.
If you have a condition that does not match the blue book listing, you can still qualify if the Social Security Administration deems your medical condition as severe enough. You must meet the SSA's definition of disabled.
The SSA has a very strict definition of disability, and it's important to note that. Partial or short term disability does not qualify for disability. You will be unable to receive SSD benefits if this is the case for you. The disability must be so severe that you can not work at all. If you are unable to preform a job you once had because of a medical condition, or are unable to work other jobs as well because of a medical condition, then you are most likely a good fit. This condition must be so bad that it will have an impact on your body for years, or can even result to death.
In order to show that you qualify for these benefits, you must also show that you have worked for long enough, and recently. You will need to meet two earnings tests, a recent work test and a duration of work test. These tests are based on what age you have become disabled, and if you've worked long enough to qualify for benefits.
You should apply for Social Security if you are suffering of the medical condition listed on the SSA's blue book, or if you think your conditions are severe enough to apply. The process can be long, difficult, and there are no guarantees that you will be eligible. There is a lot of paperwork involved. You will have to submit your medical records for review in order for the decision to be made. It is definitely worth it to see if you would qualify for SSDI benefits though.
Sources: Legal Zoom