When a person is an employee of a company, both the employee and the company pay taxes to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability insurance. If you are self-employed, you are eligible for disability benefits as long as you have paid Social Security taxes to the SSA.
How Social Security determines whether you are disabled seems like a mystery. Just what does Social Security do with all of the information they collect? What questions do they ask to determine if you qualify...
Being born prematurely does not qualify automatically qualify an infant for SSI disability benefits; the important factor when determining a preemie's eligibility for disability is his or her birth weight when compared to its gestational age (how far along in her pregnancy the mother was when the baby was born).
Claimants usually receive their award letters within a few months of Social Security approving their disability applications. However, Social Security does not have a set deadline for issuing award letters. Some claimants will get their letters very early, and some claimants will still be waiting for their award letters even after Social Security has issued the first disability payment.
Since denials and appeals are a common part of the disability process, many applicants will become acquainted with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) at some point. This bureau conducts hearings and makes decisions regarding a person's eligibility for benefits after he or she has been denied twice.