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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Social Security Laws 101

The Social Security Administration defines a disability as the inability to engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) due to an impairment or a combination of impairments as established by the SSA.

The condition of being disabled must last or expected to last for at least 12 months in order to qualify. It must be remembered, however, that part time work does not automatically disqualify you from becoming a beneficiary of SSA. Part time work may or may not be regarded as gainful employment. The determination rests with the sound discretion of the SSA in accordance with their established rules and guidelines. Also, monthly earnings below an amount set by the SSA will not automatically disqualify a claim.

To be regarded by SSA as disabled, a person must show that he or she is unable to perform his past work as well as perform other types of gainful employment. SSA’s rules, however, are more lenient when it comes to less educated individuals and those with limited skills. SSA also has a different set of rules for minors claiming Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If you are a disabled person, there are two benefits provided for you by the SSA under two separate but related programs: (1) Social Security Disability Insurance or the Disability Insurance Benefit (DIB); and (2) Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Although there are guidelines for applying for the above benefits, SSA regulations and laws could prove to be too much for an ordinary person, especially those who are less educated. It is always a good thing to seek the aid of an expert social security attorneys and advocates.