Eligibility

Adults

An individual age 18 and older is “disabled” if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which:

  • results in the inability to do any substantial gainful activity; and
  • can be expected to result in death; or
  • has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Children

Children can file a claim for SSI if they are found to be disabled.
An individual under age 18 is “disabled” if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which:

  • results in marked and severe functional limitations; and
  • can be expected to result in death; or
  • has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?

The SSA takes the following under consideration when determining your claim:

  • What severe impairment prevents you from working? (This should be supported by medical evidence.)
  • Your past relevant work history for the last 15 years.
  • Your age and education to determine whether you can be retrained to do a less demanding job.

Can I apply for Social Security benefits if I am already receiving Workers’ Comp?

Yes.  If you are granted Social Security Disability Benefits while still receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your disability benefits will be offset by the total monthly workers’ compensation benefit amount.

If you receive a lump sum workers’ compensation settlement, then you need to make sure that there is language in the workers’ compensation settlement that prorates your settlement over the course of your life expectancy.  The final monthly proration amount will be your new offset for your disability benefits until you reach your full retirement age.   If you do not include this proration language, the SSA will continue to offset your disability checks by the full amount of your workers’ compensation benefits.