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General Social Security Disability Questions

by Megan Roth5 min read
Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability Questions

Applying for Social Security Disability can be a daunting task. There are a lot of rules and regulations that need to be followed so that your claim gets approved. Here is a list of the most commonly asked Social Security Disability Questions during the application process:


What are the requirements for qualifying for Social Security Disability?

To qualify for Social Security Disability, you need to have worked in a job where you paid Social Security taxes and you need to be disabled as defined by the Social Security Administration.


How long should I have worked to qualify for Social Security Disability?

This will depend on your age. As a norm, you need to have worked at least for a period of 10 years before you were disabled to earn enough work credits to be entitled to Social Security Disability monthly benefits. However, if you were younger when you were disabled, then the number of work credits/number of years you would need would depend on your age.


Will my Social Security Disability payments be reduced if I also Workers’ Compensation other state-funded Disability benefits?

Yes, if the total combined amount of benefits  you get from your Social Security Disability plus other government disability funds (such as civil service disability benefits, temporary state disability benefits, state/local government retirement disability benefits) is more than 80% of your average income before you were disabled.


How long does it take to get a decision on my Social Security Disability application?

It will depend on a few factors:

  • Type of disability 
  • Speed of getting evidence from medical sources 
  • Do you need to go for a medical exam 
  • If your application has no issues and does not need to be reviewed 
  • What are compassionate allowances?

The Compassionate Allowances Program allows the SSA to fast-track claims of people with severe disabilities where there is absolutely no doubt that the person meets the disability standards.


Can I get Social Security Disability payments for the months that I was waiting for my claim to be approved?

Yes. Once your claim is approved you will also be paid Social Security Disability for the months that you were waiting for your claim to be approved. You disability benefits are applicable from the day that you file your intent to claim disability. 


What is “Ticket to Work”?

The Ticket to Work Program is run by the SSA to help claimants go to work and become financially independent. Through this program, the beneficiary will continue to get support from the SSA in the form of Social Security Disability monthly benefits and Medicare. 


Can I work if I am on Social Security Disability?

Yes, you can work if you are Social Security Disability. The SSA has special provisions to help you get back on your feet without jeopardizing your SSD benefits.

How do I report my earnings if I am on Social Security Disability?

You can log your wages by logging into your SSA account, by calling the SSA toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 (if you are deaf or hard of hearing, then you can call the SSA TTY number 1-800-325-0778) or even by visiting you nearest SSA office. 


What is Substantial Gainful Activity?

Substantial Gainful Activity or SGA is a term used by the SSA to describe your level of work activities and earnings and is used in deciding whether you meet the levels of disability that would justify your claim. “Substantial” refers to the level of physical and/or mental activity that you are able to carry out. “Gainful” refers to the amount you earn through your activities.