If your spouse needs help with how to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you can assist him or her!
With Social Security Disability benefits, an online application is available and can be filled out by the person applying, or with the assistance of someone else.
If you apply for disability on behalf of your spouse, the Social Security Administration will follow up with them to have them sign the appropriate documents.
If you or your spouse need additional assistance, call the number above to speak with a dedicated Crest agent who can assist you or your spouse with filling out the application.
Requirements for Disability Benefits
To receive Social Security benefits, you must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. You must have enough work credits to qualify and you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.
Most jobs are covered by Social Security as long as you are paying FICA taxes (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) that come out of your paycheck.
The amount of credits you need will vary on your age. You can receive up to 4 credits per year. However, the amount needed to earn a work credit changes from year to year.
In 2019, you earn one credit for each $1,360 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,440, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.
The amount of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. Younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
- Before Age 24: You may qualify if you have 6 credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability starts.
- Age 24-31: You may qualify if you have credit for working half the time between age 21 and the time you become disabled. For example, if you become disabled at age 27, you would need credit for 3 years of work (12 credits) of the past 6 years (between ages 21 and 27).
- Age 31-42: You may qualify if you have 20 credits.
- Age 43-Older: At 43, you will need 21 credits and for every year after that, you will add one credit (Age 44 – 22 credits, Age 45 – 23 credits, Age 46 – 24 credits, and so on.).
The Social Security considers you disabled if:
- You can’t do work that you did before;
- SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); AND
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
The Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.
Maintain Medical Records to Prove Disability
It is important to have medical documentation of your spouse’s disability. We recommend that you work closely with your primary health provider when you are applying for disability. Your provider can review the Blue Book listing and help you gather evidence, fill out forms, and submit required records.
The Social Security Administration will likely request information and records directly from our doctor as well. Be sure to communicate openly with your physician about your spouse’s disability application and request their assistance as needed.
Legal Help With Your Spouse’s Disability Claim
A disability lawyer can assist you and your spouse throughout your entire claim, from start to finish. He or she can help gather evidence, counsel you on the application and documentation, and represent your spouse’s interest during the review stage and the appeals stage, if necessary.
Your lawyer can be your go-to person for understanding SSA processes, disability documentation, eligibility and denial, and appeal procedures.
Call us now at the number above to speak with a disability specialist who can answer your questions, see if your spouse qualifies for disability, and can help fill out the application.