If you are unable to work for at least twelve months, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income. The process can be long and arduous, so your best bet is to contact an experienced SSD attorney for assistance.
To start the process, you can either apply online or at your local Social Security office. You will likely be turned down for benefits after the initial application, so the next step is to request a hearing for an Administrative Law Judge to re-examine your claim.
The most important factors in establishing your claim are your medical records. These records demonstrate that you cannot work at any job, not just the job you held formerly.
There are two types of disability benefits, SSDI and SSI. SSDI is based on the money you’ve put into the system through your previous employment. That means you must have worked roughly five of the last ten years to qualify.
SSI is for indigent applicants who do not have a significant work history or assets. In some cases, you can receive both benefits if you are indigent and have worked five out of the last ten years.
If you are still denied after your hearing, you can apply to the Appeals Council or start the process over again.