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Are You A Young Adult Considering Social Security Disability? Here's What You Need To Know

According to the Social Security Administration, those who are 20 years old today will have just over a 25% chance of becoming disabled before they reach the age of 67. Imagine if this generation of young people (and other generations) realized how commonplace disability before retirement age is, they may take better care of their health and work harder to secure a financial safety net for the future. 

But what about those who have chronic health conditions who are struggling with gainful employment when they are in their early 20s who haven't had yet in life to prove themselves? Here's what you need to know if you are in your early 20s and considering filing for social security disability.

Do you have a disability? 

The Social Security Administration has a long list of medical criteria that are used for the evaluation of various disabilities to determine whether or not they meet the requirements to qualify for a disability. This list is called the "Blue Book" of the Social Security Administration. 

If your disability or impairment is not listed yet there are symptoms and/or comorbidities of your condition listed, you may be able to list the symptoms and/or comorbidities instead. For example, someone with a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a connective tissue disorder) can apply for the impairments of things like joint dysfunction, loss of vision, aortic aneurysm, and chronic skin infections. 

Do you see a medical specialist? 

Beginning in 2017, administrative law judges are no longer required to defer to treating physicians when it comes time to determine eligibility of disability based on medical reports and findings. Before, treating physicians were given more weight than physicians who give consultative examinations. Now, physicians who give consultative examinations and treating physicians are given the same weight in the consideration. 

What this means is that you want your treating physician to have more weight or, in other words, more credibility and experience than the physician who will do the consultative examination. The only way to do this is to make sure you are treated by and under the care of a specialist of the medical condition you are applying for disability for. 

Do you have substantial gainful activity? 

Substantial gainful activity is defined as work that you do that brings in more than a certain amount of money. For 2017, this amount is $1,170 for disabled applicants who are not blind. If you are able to make more than $1,170 a month, the Social Security Administration considers that you are able to work and, therefore, are not disabled.

So, obviously if your income is over this amount you will not meet the qualifications for disability. This does not mean that you should stop working or reduce your number of hours on the job. The reason for this is because part of the investigation allows the Social Security Administration to go back and look at your employment history. 

Have you acquired enough credits? 

The system uses credits, which are earned annually up to a maximum of four credits per year. You receive one credit for every three months you work, as long as you earned the minimum amount for that year (which changes annually). You cannot qualify for disability if you have not worked enough to build up the number of necessary credits for your particular age.

If you are 23 or younger, you need to have earned six credits in the three years before your disability started. However, if you were disabled before you turned 22 years old, you may qualify for disability as a disabled adult child, in which case it's your parents credits that are used to determine eligibility for disability benefits. Speak with a lawyer specializing in Social Security disability in your area for more information. For more information, visit websites like http://www.socialsecurityesq.com.