Can My Social Security Disability Coverage Lapse if I Stop Working?

Coverage under Social Security Disability is available to all Americans who earn enough credits through working and paying appropriate taxes. What many don’t realize is that eligibility can literally vanish if applicants have not worked in a substantial amount of time. Because SSD works like forms of private insurance, coverage can lapse, leaving applicants without any means of financial security at times when they may be at their most vulnerable. How can you be certain that you’re eligible? Read on for a full explanation from our disability lawyers.

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Taxes Work Like Insurance Premiums

Think of your FICA taxes like an insurance premium paid to the federal government. If you stop working for several years, you likewise stop paying taxes – no premium paid, no coverage earned. If you stop paying FICA taxes 10 years prior to your application for disability benefits, you may find that you no longer have sufficient credits to qualify under the Social Security Act.

If you’re 31 or older, you must’ve worked for five out of the last 10 years to earn the requisite 20 credits. This meets both the duration of work and recent work tests applied to your application by SSD examiners. If you stopped working for a long time prior to filing for benefits, your medical history must show that your injury or illness has prevented you from working by significantly reducing your functional capacity. Without that evidence, winning approval for your application will be difficult.

Established Onset Date

The established onset date or EOD of your disability is crucial to proving your eligibility for benefits in the event that your physical problems have kept you from working and paying federal taxes. If medical records provided by your doctors or treatment team can show that your EOD is from a time when you had sufficient credits to qualify for Social Security Disability, our attorneys may still be able to get you approved for coverage.

There are other exceptions to this rule for applicants living with significant impairments, including blindness. We can go over all the legal options during your free consultation at the firm.

Self-Employed Workers

If you’re self-employed, you still have a duty to pay regular taxes by submitting quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS each year. If you’ve kept up with these obligations, you should still be qualified to receive SSD payments from the federal government if you meet all other requirements. Our legal team can investigate your claim on your behalf to determine if any other extenuating factors exist, that could impede your claim.

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits on your own is a nightmare of paperwork and tight deadlines. You need experienced SSD lawyers working on your side to maximize your chances of approval. If you or someone you love is hurt and can’t work, contact our law offices today for a no-cost consultation regarding your situation. We’ll explain your rights to benefits, and how we can help you recover the maximum possible amount. If we can’t obtain compensation, there’s no charge for our services.