In South Carolina, you may be able to file to receive disability benefits if you are unable to work. The federal Social Security Administration collects money over your working life from your paychecks and then distributes that money back out to you and others when needed later on.
You can get some of that money back in the form of retirement benefits once you’re old enough, but you may qualify to start receiving that money earlier through social security disability. Anyone who has paid into the system over time and can’t work because of some kind of medical condition may be eligible for this.
People receive disability benefits because of all different types of medical conditions, so don’t automatically assume that your disability may not count. You can seek benefits for any medical condition that is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months.
The key to your case is that you were working previously, but stopped working because of your condition. For establishing your case and getting the benefits you’ve earned over time, you’ll need to document your medical history as it relates to the condition.
You’ll need treatment records and statements from medical providers who have treated you, as well as evidence that the condition is expected to last. These statements should explain why your condition keeps you from working. This will be easier if your disability is already commonly accepted as a severe medical condition.
Having proven your disability, you’ll also need to be able to demonstrate that you have paid enough into the Social Security system over time to qualify to receive money back. You earn work credits each year that you earn money and pay taxes in a business that participates in Social Security.
The exact amount of work credits that you’ll need to get benefits will depend on your age. Older workers are expected to have been working for a longer time and will need more credits. You will also need to have earned some reasonable portion of those credits in the last few years immediately before your disability.
Qualifying Family Members
These aren’t the only ways to qualify for disability benefits through Social Security, however. Even if you don’t meet these requirements, you might be able to earn disability benefits if you are a surviving spouse of someone with benefits.
Widows and widowers of qualifying workers can file to receive benefits through their deceased spouses. Divorced spouse survivors may also be eligible.
What if you were never able to work and put money into Social Security because of a disability? If your disability qualifies under SSA rules and you were disabled before you turned 22, you can submit an application to Social Security to receive benefits through your parent’s earning record.
If you’re not sure whether or not you qualify, the best thing you can do is find a legal professional with experience in this field. Don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself and get the support you need.