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Under the Social Security Act, “disability” means “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

You can file an application for Social Security disability benefits online at or you can call:  800-772-1213 and schedule an appointment to have your application taken by telephone.

Not even one day.  You can file for Social Security disability benefits on the very same day that you become disabled.  Many individuals make the mistake of waiting months and even years after becoming disabled before filing a Social Security disability claim.  If you suffer from a serious illness or injury and expect to be out of work for a year or more, you should not delay in filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.

You do not have to wait until the worker’s compensation ends and you should not wait. You can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits while receiving worker’s compensation benefits.

There is generally no easy way to tell if you will be found to be disabled by Social Security. You should decide whether or not to file for benefits based upon your own belief about your condition. If you feel that you are disabled and are not going to be able to work in the near future, you should file for Social Security disability benefits. If you are denied, you should consult with an attorney familiar with Social Security disability.

Yes, you can.  Social Security is supposed to consider the combination of impairments that you suffer from in determining disability.  Many, perhaps most claimants for Social Security disability benefits, have more than one health problem and the combined effects of all of the health problems must be considered.

Social Security is supposed to gather your medical records and carefully consider all of your health problems, as well as your age, education, and work experience.  In general, they are supposed to decide whether you are able to do your past work.  If they decide that you are unable to do your past work, they are supposed to consider whether there is any other work that you can do considering your health problems along with your age, education, and work experience.

For disability insurance benefits, it all depends upon how much you have worked and earned in the past.  For disabled widow’s or widower’s benefits, it depends upon how much the late husband or wife worked and earned.  For disabled adult child benefits, it all depends upon how much the parent worked and earned.  For SSI benefits, there is a base amount that an individual with no income receives.  Other income or support that an individual receives reduces the amount of SSI benefit.

First, do not be surprised or discouraged.  If you are denied, you should consider consulting with an attorney to help you with an appeal.  You have sixty (60) days from the date you are denied to file an appeal.  If you fail to file within 60 days, you will have to file a new application and start all over, therefore, it is important to act quickly if you are denied.

Yes, you can. If you are over 50 and became disabled within seven years after your husband or wife died, you can get disabled Widow’s or Widower’s benefits.

Yes.  Mental illness is a frequent basis for awarding Social Security disability benefits.

If you are approved Social Security disability benefits, you will get Medicare after you have been entitled to your disability benefits for two years.

If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you will get Medicaid.  It is possible to get both Medicare and Medicaid if you are entitled to SSI and a limited amount of Social Security Disability.