Social Security Disability

“For more than 20 years, Mr. Clark successfully represented applicants before me at the Social Security Administration’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. He is an extremely capable attorney who represents his clients with the utmost integrity and diligence.”

- Joachim J. Volhard


Social Security disability (SSD) is a federal government program that pays you benefits if you have a physical or mental health impairment that prevents you from working for at least 12 consecutive months.  People out of work for only a few months won’t qualify no matter how severe their disability.

When your application for SSD is accepted, you receive the monthly Social Security benefit that you would normally receive at retirement age.  In effect, you receive that benefit early because you can’t work.

The SSD program has both medical and non-medical requirements.  The basic medical requirement is proof of an inability to work due to a documented physical or mental health disorder.  The basic non-medical requirement is that you must have worked long enough and paid enough money into the Social Security system to be “insured” for benefit payments.  In general, this requirement is satisfied by working and paying FICA or self-employment taxes for 10 years, including at least 5 years during the 10-year period preceding the onset of disability.