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Social Security Disability

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Daniel Cohen
UpdatedAug 17, 2010
Key Takeaways:
  • Learn about qualifying for Social Security Disability
  • Review basic facts about how much you can earn and still qualify
  • Consider speaking with an attorney, to get a professional opinion about the strength of your case

Does how much I owe in credit debt or what I own as assets affect me in qualifying for Social Security Disability?

do you need to report credit card info in order to get disability?

It is not clear from your question if you are referring to short-term disability, partial disability, or total disability. Social Security Disability only deals with total disability claims.

Social Security Disability is a federal program that allows a person who qualifies for the program to receive monthly payments for living expenses. Disability also qualifies a person for Medicare eligibility.

The first condition in qualifying for disability has nothing to do with your medical or psychological health. Qualifying for benefits requires that you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security's definition of disability. In general, benefits are paid to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.

When presenting a case for disability, the issue is not just whether or not you are ill, but whether the authorities feel you can still produce an income, despite your condition. The disability approval process examines whether the claimant's condition prevents him or her from doing the work done previously, makes it so that new work cannot be taken on, and that the condition is going to persist for at least one year or until death.

To be eligible for receiving disability benefits, a person must show that he or she is unable to engage in what the Social Security Administration defines as substantial gainful activity (SGA). You can view the SGA amounts that a person can earn and still qualify for disability. Blind people are allowed to earn more than someone with another disability.

Qualifying for disability is often a lengthy process, often taking more than a year. Sadly, there are many horror stories on how people with legitimate disability claims are first denied and have to fight tooth and nail to be approved. I have read that close to 70% of disability cases are turned down on the first hearing, at the initial claim level. Being turned down does not mean that the case is not meritorious. This is proven by the fact that many cases that are denied at the initial claim level are granted approval on appeal. Sadly, during the time the case is in process, the individual can be under tremendous financial strain. Even if back payments are authorized, it does not retroactively eliminate the duress the individual was under during the process.

General information about applying for Social Security Disability is available at the Social Security Web site.

How wealthy you are or what debts you have are not factors that affect your disability case. As I mentioned above, it is whether or not you are viewed as able to produce income in the future that is key.

To my knowledge, credit card information is not normally requested when a person is applying for disability. However, it could be within the authority of the government to ask such a question. If you are asked, I think it wisest to cooperate. If you want to know your legal rights, you may want to speak with an attorney that specializes in disability cases. Many attorneys who work on disability cases work on a contingency basis, where they collect a fee only if they win the case and obtain the disability award. Most attorneys will offer a free initial consultation. Given the details involved in presenting a disability case, the time it takes to go through the process, and the difficulty of dealing with the bureaucracy, professional assistance could be very useful.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.