Question: Do I have to be permanently and totally disabled to get Social Security disability?
Answer: Absolutely not! Neither the word “permanent” nor the word “total” appears anywhere in the definition of disability used by Social Security. In fact, the definition says the exact opposite. You have to have been or be expected to be disabled for at least a year to get Social Security disability. A year is a lot less time than forever, which is what permanent means. “Totally disabled” is a term used in workers compensation. It really means total — as in bedridden or very close to it. You certainly have to be sick to get Social Security disability but not that sick. You have to be unable to do the work you’ve done in recent years as well as unable to do other work. In considering whether you have the ability to do work other than what you have done in the past, Social Security must consider your age, education and work experience. Social Security may not pay as much attention to your education and work experience as they should but they definitely pay attention to your age. Being over 50 helps. Being over 55 helps a lot.
At the Charles T. Hall Law Firm, we know the rules that decide whether you win or lose your Social Security disability case. We’d love to talk with you about your case.