Social Security disability benefits are designed to serve as supplemental income to those who are unable to work due to a disability. Thus the first and foremost pre-qualifier to receiving benefits is that a claimant must be out of work. There are some regulations that allow for part-time work while receiving Social Security disability benefits, but this work must not demonstrate the ability to work full-time and must be under certain earnings limits. Once it is determined that you are not working, Social Security requests and reviews medical records from your doctors to determine if you meet certain guidelines. Certain, but rare, conditions will produce a relatively quick award. These mainly include terminal illnesses or illnesses that are severe and generally last life-long. Some examples may include terminal cancer and epilepsy. If you do not have a condition that meets this criteria, Social Security then reviews your records to determine what you are capable of doing, despite your limitations, and uses that information to determine if you could perform your past work or any other type of work. It is important to remember that Social Security disability benefits are for people who are unable to do any work, not just their last job. The rules do become a little less stringent for older claimants. This means that if two people with identical work history, education, and disabling conditions were to apply, but one was 40 and one was 60, it would be more likely for the 60-year-old claimant to be approved than the 40-year-old, especially if the past work was physically involved. The most significant way you can help your claim is to get a letter from your doctor or have your doctor complete a Medical Source Statement form. However, these forms can be modified or amended to include questions specific to your case. This is where getting an attorney involved is particularly helpful. The rules and regulations that determine Social Security disability eligibility are complex, and a seasoned attorney will have the knowledge and understanding of the law needed to maximize your chances of being awarded benefits. At Craig Swapp & Associates, we have a powerful team of attorneys and representatives with the experience needed to make the most out of your claim.