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Glossary of Social Security Disability Law Terms

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Delayed Retirement Credits: Social Security benefits are increased (by a certain percentage depending on a person’s date of birth) if retirement is delayed beyond full retirement age. Increases based on delaying retirement no longer apply when people reach age 70, even if they continue to delay taking benefits.

Direct Deposit: The standard way to receive Social Security benefits.

Disability Benefits: These benefits are received if you: are under FRA (full retirement age), have enough Social Security credits, and have a severe medical impairment that prevents you from doing substantial work for more than a year, or are expected to die from the impairment.

Disability Insurance: One of three components in the Social Security program. You become eligible for disability benefits when you cannot do the work you did before becoming disabled and the work you did, cannot be adjusted to accommodate your disability. The number of work credits you need to qualify for benefits depends on your age at the time you become disabled.

Documents: Forms often requested and submitted by individuals who are applying for benefits. Documents usually include: birth certificates, marriage certificates, W2 forms, tax returns, and deeds. Normally only originals or certified copies are accepted.