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Common Questions about Social Security Disability Benefits

Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is no walk in the park. Endless paperwork accompanied by deadlines, confusing legalese, and government representatives who are not always available to answer your questions complicate the process.

The following section identifies and answers the most frequently asked questions about SSD.

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability Benefits

Q. What are the eligibility requirements to receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

A. The Social Security Administration will pay monthly benefits to workers who cannot work for a year or more or who have a condition expected to end in death.

Q. What is the legal definition of disability?

A. The Social Security Administration defines disability as someone who meets the following quoted criteria: “You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of your medical condition. You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition. Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.”

Q. Can a disabled worker return to work while receiving SSD benefits?

A. Yes. There are special rules governing how a disabled worker who recovers from their disability and who can return to work does so. There is often a trial period in which the worker can attempt to return to work without forgoing their disability benefits.

Q. What’s the difference between Social Security and Social Security Disability?

A. SSD benefits are a section of the greater Social Security network. Social Security retirement payments, for example, are to be funded out of employment taxes that the worker paid throughout their time in the workforce. Social Security Disability is a specific program intended to help those who become disabled, even if this occurs long before retirement age.

Q. For those already receiving SSD benefits, will they also get retirement benefits when they reach retirement age?

A. SSD benefits switch to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries reach the full retirement age.

Q. How long does it take to get a decision on an SSD benefits application?

A. The duration of the application process depends on numerous factors, including the nature of the disability, how quickly one can get medical evidence of disability from their doctor, and whether or not the application has any mistakes or incomplete sections.

Q. What are Compassionate Allowances?

A. Such allowances allow the Social Security Administration to quickly send out disability benefits for people whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions meet the disability definition precepts outlined above.

For more information about Social Security Disability Benefits, the Social Security Administration offers a full-length FAQ on its official website.[1]

NRS Injury Law, Ohio’s Best Social Security Disability Attorney

If you or a loved one feels rightful disability benefits are being withheld at any point along the application process, the correct action is to hire an Ohio Social Security Disability Lawyer. For further assistance and a free consultation, please call NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.


[1] SSA. “Disability (SDDI).” Social Security Administration, 2022.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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