Disability insurance coverage was added to the Social Security Act by Congress in 1956. It provides disability benefits to certain workers under age 65 who are unable to work (referred to as “substantial gainful activity”) for a continuous period of twelve months or more.
WHO IS COVERED…
To receive benefits, you must first prove that you are “insured”. To be insured, you must have worked a sufficient number of years and paid sufficient social security taxes. Some individuals may receive benefits on another wage earner’s account (widows, disabled adult children). You can find out if you are insured for social security disability by contacting the Social Security Administration. If you are insured, then you must prove that you have a medical impairment (physical, mental, or emotional) which has lasted or will last for a period of twelve months or longer and that prevents you from doing any job you have performed in the past fifteen years, or any other job for which you are suited medically and vocationally.
You may apply for Social Security Disability at any time, but benefits will only be awarded for a maximum period of one year prior to the date of your application. No benefits are ever paid for the first six months of disability.