If you suffered an injury or illness that has kept you from returning to your Iowa workplace, you may be one of many people throughout the state who have struggled to make ends meet at home. Especially if you were the primary wage earner in your household, missing work for even a short amount of time can have a negative impact on finances. Not being able to work can spark a full-on financial crisis.
Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance is a taxpayer-funded U.S. government program managed by the Social Security Administration. Under this program, a person who has a medical condition that keeps him or her from being able to work may receive monthly benefits to help cover his or her expenses. A person’s condition must meet the pre-determined guidelines as a “qualifying disability” in order to be eligible for benefits.
Can you work or engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA)?
Two questions that help determine whether you might be eligible to receive SSD benefits are whether you’re able to work at all and whether you’re able to participate in gainful activity. If you’re currently employed and earning more than $1,350 per month (provided you are not blind), this would undoubtedly disqualify you from applying for SSD benefits.
Is your condition terminal or expected to last one year or longer?
If you have a terminal illness and are unable to work because of your condition, you might be eligible for SSD benefits. Even if you’re expected to survive your illness, if a medical doctor has stated that your condition is likely to last 12 months or more, you may want to explore SSD benefits further to see if you meet the rest of the requirements, as well.
There is a list of approved medical conditions
To qualify for SSD benefits, you must show that your condition is on the approved list of medical conditions that are qualifying disabilities for the program. The Social Security Administration may review a specific case by merit, which means that, if your particular condition isn’t on the list, it doesn’t necessarily preclude you from eligibility for benefits.
Additional matters of importance
If you can’t do the work you used to do but are able to perform some other type of work, it could disqualify you from SSD benefits. It’s critically important that you obtain an official medical diagnosis. Some people have navigated the SSD application process only to receive a denial of benefits.
If this happens to you, try not to lose hope because it may be possible to resolve the situation by appealing the decision. It’s helpful to describe your condition in as much detail as possible and to have all necessary paperwork and documentation in good order before submitting an initial application.