Tamarac Social Security Attorneys
954-580-3220
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Social Security Disability Qualifications

 

Does Social Security consider your condition a “Disability”?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a very specific and unique definition of what is considered a “disability”. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program only covers total, long term disabilities. Short-term or partial disabilities are not covered by SSDI. The three requirements of total disabilities are that they:

  • Prohibit the applicant from doing the work he or she once did,
  • Prohibit the applicant from adjusting to a new type of work, and
  • Last or are expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

The SSA uses a five step process to determine whether an applicant conditional satisfies the SSA's definition of “disabled”. You can make your own initial determination by using the SSA's Disability Planner. You will need to consider the following:

  1. Are you earning too much money?
    Social Security does not consider individuals who earn above a substantial gainful activity (SGA) level to be eligible for benefits. As of 2013, the SGA earning limit is $1,040. If you are currently earning more than this amount per month, you will probably not qualify for disability benefits. Not being able to work due to your impairments is favorable to getting your application for benefits approved.
     
  2. Is your physical or mental condition "severe"?
    Your physical or mental medical condition must interfere with your ability to perform the basic functions associated with your work be considered disabled. Individuals who suffer from vision impairment must meet a certain criteria for the SSA to consider them blind and potentially eligible for benefits.
     
  3. Do you suffer from a listed condition?
    If your condition is on the SSA’s list of severe medical conditions, you will automatically be considered disabled. The majority of conditions on this list are permanent or are expected to result in death. You may still qualify for disability benefits even if your condition is not included on the list by providing proof that your condition is:
  • Severe
  • Interferes with your ability to perform basic work functions and
  • Will last at least 12 months or is expected to result in death
     
  1. Do you still have the ability to do your previous job?
    Even if the SSA does consider you disabled, you will not be eligible for benefits if your impairment does not hinder your ability to work. If your medical condition is not included in the list of disabilities, the SSA will consider all supporting documentation to determine whether your condition interferes with your ability to perform the work that you once did.
     
  2. Are you able to perform other jobs?
    If the SSA finds that your impairment prevents you from performing your previous job, they will consider other types of employment that you may be able to perform. They will take into consideration such factors are your age, the economy, skill set, education, and previous work history when searching for an appropriate type of employment. The SSA does not actually look for a specific job for an applicant, they just try to determine if an applicant is able to perform any other type of work given their impairments. If they determine that you can perform other types of work, you will likely not be approved. If the SSA cannot find a way to transfer your skills to another field, you may be approved for benefits.

Social Security claim are very complex, and can be confusing for an individual to approach on their own. While these are the basic disability requirements, there are always exceptions or things to keep in mind when filing a claim, such as the fact that widows or widowers of disabled workers, disabled children and wounded veterans may be entitled to SSDI benefits even if they continue to work.. Contact the Tamarac Social Security disability attorneys at The Trial Professionals to speak with a skilled lawyer who will do everything possible to ensure you receive all of the benefits you are entitled to. 

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