Social Security pays a monthly check to people it determines are disabled. Your annual Social Security statement estimates the amount you will receive. Social Security disability (SSD) recipients are eligible to receive health care benefits through Medicare 29 months after the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines they are disabled.

When most people think of Social Security, they think of retirement, but Social Security is not just for retirees. The Social Security disability (SSD) program is for working people who have become disabled by injury, disease or a medical condition and are no longer able to work and support themselves.

Consultation is free. There are no legal fees to pay until we recover benefits for you. Call our law offices in Philadelphia, at (215) 464-7200 or contact us online and we will get in touch with you immediately.

What is Social Security Disability (SSD)?

Social Security Disability (SSD) is a type of insurance that is intended to help people who are unable to work due to documented physical or mental conditions by providing a regular income supplement to these individuals. Length of income supplementation depends on whether a person’s disability is considered to be short term or long term. The program is funded by payroll taxes that are automatically deducted by employers and is federally run.

To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call (215) 464-7200 or contact the attorneys of Chermol & Fishman, LLC, in Philadelphia. The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.

Differences Between Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) typically requires a recipient’s income prior to and during disability to fall below a certain threshold. A person who collects SSI must adhere to these strict income limits and verify limited resources during an in-person appointment. There are no such income limits for those receiving SSD, so anyone who has been verified as having a disability by a medical professional is able to receive SSD.

Qualifying for SSD

Individuals wishing to apply for SSD will have to provide personal information and answer questions related to the reason for the application. Requirements for qualifying for SSD are listed below.

Nature of Disability

A physical or mental disability that allows an individual to qualify for SSD is one that prevents a person from completing activities during which they would earn an income. This disability must be documented and verified by a licensed medical professional.


While there is no minimum age requirement to qualify for SSD, individuals between the ages of 18 and 22 will generally be eligible for benefits under their parents’ SSD benefits. This applies when an individual under the age of 22 has not earned enough Social Security work credits to qualify to collect their own SSD benefits.

Applicants must be under the age of 65 in order to receive SSD benefits because a person who has reached the age of retirement will receive retirement benefits instead of SSD.

Length of Disability

SSD is not intended for disabilities that are very short term in nature. The estimated length of the condition related to the disability must be a minimum of 12 months in order for a person to qualify for SSD. However, there may be an exception for people who are suffering from a terminal illness.

Work Credits

Working individuals earn Social Security work credits every year based on their income. An individual must have accumulated a minimum number of work credits in order to qualify for SSD. It is possible to earn up to four credit per year, and most workers need to accumulate 20 credits within the past 10 years in order to qualify for SSD. Additional credits are required at a rate of one per year beginning at age 42.

Disability Insurance for Workers

Many people who qualify for Social Security disability are unaware that this program exists. They often do not realize that they have been paying into it their entire working lives. This is especially true in immigrant communities.

Social Security disability (SSD) isn’t welfare; it is something you’ve earned by working. It’s like an insurance policy that the government forced you to buy. Applying for Social Security disability (SSD) is the process of collecting the benefits of this insurance program that you paid for through your prior work.

Are You Disabled?

Not everyone is eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. You must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability and certain work-related requirements.

In general terms, SSA considers you disabled if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

There are many rules and regulations in the disability program. Due to this complexity, it is better to contact our office to see if you might qualify.

Have You Worked Enough?

The Social Security Administration considers your age, how long you have worked and how recently you have worked when determining whether you qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Work eligibility is based on credits, which change every year. In general, however, if you are age 31 or older, you must have worked five out of the previous 10 years to be eligible to receive Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Young workers need fewer years of work to qualify.

Disabled people who do not meet the work requirements may be eligible to receive supplemental security income (SSI). Our lawyers can assist you with either program.

To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call (215) 464-7200 or contact the attorneys of Chermol & Fishman, LLC, in Philadelphia. The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vs Long Term Disability

One key difference between SSDI and long term disability is that a child of an individual who has accumulated credits is able to receive SSDI benefits in certain situations. Only the person who is insured may collect benefits related to long term disability insurance.

While SSDI is managed by the government, long term disability insurance is offered by an insurance agency. Unlike the required deductions for SSDI, employees have the option to choose long term disability insurance and can even opt to purchase a policy on their own.

If a person remains disabled as defined by the standards used by the government in relation to SSDI, benefits will continue to be paid out until retirement age is reached. Long term disability insurance typically issues benefits for a defined period of time.

Common Disabling Physical Injuries & Conditions:

Common Disabling Psychological Impairments:

These two lists are not a complete listing of the common disabling conditions, injuries, diseases and impairments recognized by the Social Security Administration. These are only examples. In other words, if your condition or impairment isn’t listed, do not worry or assume that you won’t qualify for benefits.

The important thing to take away here is that simply having one of these injuries or conditions is not enough. The impairment must be carefully described so that it fits within one of SSA’s accepted definitions of a disabling injury, illness or condition. Our lawyers know what SSA and their administrative law judges are looking for when they review a claimant’s materials and can help to prepare your case accordingly.

Experience From the Inside, Now on Your Side: (215) 464-7200

The consultation is free. Our lawyers do not get paid until they win your case. To arrange a free initial consultation — simply call us in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the number shown above or, contact our firm online and someone from our office will get in touch with you shortly.

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[column size=”1-2″]New Jersey
Trenton Social Security Disability
Cherry Hill Social Security Disability
Voorhees Social Secutiry Disability
Camden Social Security Disability
Pennsauken Social Security Disability
Atlantic City Social Security Disability[/column] [column size=”1-2″ last=”1″]Pennsylvania
Bethlehem Social Security Disability
Harrisburg Social Security Disability
Reading Social Security Disability
Wilkes-Barre Social Security Disability
Quakertown Social Security Disability
Levittown Social Security Disability[/column]