If you are unable to return to your West Virginia workplace because of injury or illness, you might have a difficult time making ends meet, especially if you are unable to work at all. The government provides financial assistance to those who cannot work due to disabilities. To request Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must navigate a complex system.
You must also prove that your condition is a disability that prevents you from being able to work. There are additional eligibility requirements to meet, as well. If you file a claim for benefits that receives a denial, do not lose hope. Many cases receive approval upon appeal.
Your condition must last one year or more
One of the issues you must demonstrate to collect SSD benefits is that your condition will last for one year or longer. In other words, if your doctor says that you should experience a full recovery within six months, you will not qualify for SSD benefits. If your condition will last less than a year because it is life-threatening, then you may still qualify for benefits.
You must have a full disability to qualify for benefits
If you have a partial disability, you may be ineligible to receive SSD financial assistance. When your ability to carry out your normal duties in the workplace has limits or there has been a reduction in your earning capacity, but you can still do some work, this is known as a partial disability. If you are completely unable to work, the system categorizes it as a full disability.
Is the condition included on the list of government-approved conditions?
The government has approved a list of conditions that create eligibility for SSD benefits. One of the first things you can do before filing a claim is check whether your condition is on the list. If it’s not, it doesn’t necessarily mean the court will deny your claim. There are certain conditions that are not on the list that still create eligibility.
Are you younger than your full retirement age?
There is also an age requirement for SSD eligibility. When you file a claim to request benefits, you must be younger than your full retirement age. If you are not sure what that age is, you can research the topic online. It depends on the year you were born.
Your family members may also be eligible to receive benefits
If your condition constitutes a disability, and you qualify for benefits, your family members may also be eligible based on your work record. In some cases, a family member may collect up to half of your disability amount. Family members that may qualify include your spouse or a former spouse, your minor children or an adult child who suffered a disability before age 22.