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Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
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4 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Social Security Benefits

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Most people have heard about Social Security Benefits, but few people truly understand what it takes to become eligible to receive these benefits. Here are a few simple tips to guide you and determine your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits.

1. You must have worked long enough and actually paid Social Security taxes to receive these benefits for you or certain members of your family. Social Security payments become available to someone who has had to stop working because of a disability that has lasted for a minimum of 12 months or a disability that is expected to result in death.

2. You must have worked for a minimum of five years during the last ten years (forty calendar quarters) before you became disabled. Your check is usually based on your average earnings for all years worked before you became disabled. Your benefits will last as long as you are unable to work.

As a disabled person, you may receive benefits until you reach the age of 65, at that time your payments will be converted into retirement benefits. Your benefit amount will not change. As a child under 18, you may also collect benefits if your parents receive disability.

3. Remember, most Social Security applications are denied. A denial at any level, or even a previous denial may not disqualify you from receiving benefits. If you feel you’re due benefits, a qualified attorney can help you file a claim and receive the maximum payments for your disability. The appeals process may be complicated and you may feel pressured to return to your job before you’ve completely recovered. Don’t do it. Returning to work before you’re ready may cause your injuries to worsen as well as damage your claim.

4. Speak with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney to learn your rights. You’ll have a guide to lead you through the complicated Social Security Disability maze and help you receive the benefits you may deserve.

Social Security Disability can be a complicated process. Ask questions, learn your rights, and more importantly seek help from a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer. You’ll be glad you did.

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  1. Doug says:
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    To your first two points, I think it is important that people realize that in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (though not the need-based Supplemental Security Income), they need to have been gainfully employed and contributing to the Social Security Fund via FICA contributions for a required minimum amount of time. In many cases, people expect SSDI to be available when they don’t have sufficient work history, or proof of work history, to actually be eligible for benefits.

    In such cases, it is often a good idea to speak with an attorney who specializes in Social Security law in order to make sure everything is in order prior to taking a blind shot at benefits.

    Thanks for the article.

    Doug