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New York City Disability Lawyers Explain the Social Security Disability Program

Video Transcript

Hi. This is Troy Rosasco from Turley, Redmond, Rosasco, and Rosasco. I’m a New York Social Security Disability lawyer. And today I wanna give you a broad overview of the Social Security Disability program. Now, most people think of Social Security as a retirement program. In fact, it’s not just a retirement program. They have a separate component of Social Security that gives disability benefits to people when they become disabled before their normal retirement. And guess what? That’s what I do. That’s what I’ve been doing for 20 years. So I can tell you a little bit about the Social Security program and that’s what I’m gonna tell you right now.

There’s two major components of the Social Security program. One is Social Security Disability Income, sometimes called SSDI. The other is Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI. We’re not gonna focus as much on SSI. That’s really a poverty program for people who are disabled and poor. But I do wanna focus on Social Security Disability primarily because that’s a program for the working man. Well, when I say the working man, I really mean the working woman also, how are you eligible for Social Security Disability? Well, how much do you have to have worked? Well, as a general rule, and there are some exceptions, you need to have paid into Social Security for at least 10 years on the books.

Well, many times people come into my office, they’ll say, “Mr. Rosasco, I’ve got a problem. They tell me I’m not eligible for Social Security, but I’ve got cancer. I’ve got heart disease.” Well, I ask them, “How much did you work, sir?” “Well, I was working as an auto mechanic at the local automotive shop.” I said, “Did they pay you on the books?” He said, “No, it just wasn’t that type of place. It wasn’t my choice, it was the owner’s choice.” I said, “Sir, unfortunately, I can’t help you. The SSI program may be able to help you because it doesn’t have the same work requirements that the regular Social Security Disability program has. But Social Security Disability has to have a work component.” In addition to the 10-year requirement, you need also be currently insured for Social Security Disability. What do I mean by that? In the 10 years before you became disabled, you need to have worked 5 of those years on the books. Okay, how does that work out?

I’ll give you a sad example. I had a 43-year-old woman come into my office recently, she had breast cancer, stage 3. Unfortunately, in the 10 years before developing breast cancer, most of those years she was home taking care of her kids. She had only had a couple years working. She did not meet the 5-year out of the last 10-year requirement. I had to tell that poor woman, “I’m sorry, I can’t get Social Security Disability for you.” She said to me, “But I’ve been working my whole life since I was 17. I started in the bakery.” And I said, “Unfortunately, I know you meet the first requirement, that you have 10 years of work experience, but you don’t meet the second requirement.” So remember, for Social Security Disability, you have to have enough work credits and it doesn’t matter how much you earn, okay, you could earn as much as you want. You could be a millionaire and get Social Security or you can just be getting by. That’s about all we’re gonna take on today.

Thank you for listening. We’ll deal with the process of Social Security in the next video. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call me. My name is Troy Rosasco, and you can reach me toll-free at 1-877-NY-DBLAW. Thanks for listening.

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