Qualifying for disability: SSD or SSI disability benefits are paid to those persons who are unable to work due to medical conditions. For SSD benefits, you must have worked and paid in enough through your wages to be considered insured for disability. You might also qualify on the account of another person such as a parent or spouse. For SSI, you need to be financially eligible by having limited assets and income. Your medical condition needs to have kept you, or be expected to keep you, from working for at least 12 months. There is no eligibility for partial or short-term disability.
Applying for Disability: You must apply to and be approved by Social Security to get disability benefits. You can apply online or by visiting your local Social Security office. You will need some information about your work history, medical condition and course of treatment to give to Social Security. The disability rules are very complicated, so you may want to have some assistance in the application process. It may take at least a few months to get a decision on your application.
Appealing a Denial: If you are denied by Social Security for disability benefits, you need to file a formal appeal. The appeal needs to be filed within 60 days of the date you received your written denial, which is presumed to be five days after they mailed it. Do not miss the deadline because Social security is very strict about appeals. There are different appeal levels, including a hearing stage where you will get to appear with your attorney before an administrative law judge.