To receive Social Security disability payments, you must be considered totally disabled, either temporarily or permanently. The government will not pay out benefits for partial disability or short-term disability as some employer insurance policies do. You will have to prove to the Social Security Administration(SSA) that you are totally disabled by meeting all of their criteria. This process can be lengthy and frustrating, especially if you do not hire a lawyer specializing in this area.
The SSA defines total disability as the following:
- You cannot perform the job you did before your injury or medical condition.
- The SSA determines that you cannot “adjust” to other positions due to your medical condition.
- Your medical condition is expected to last at least a year or is expected to end in your demise.
Before they will make a disability determination, the SSA will require you to provide a great deal of information.
Determining Factors for SSD
To determine your disability status, the SSA will need to know if you are currently working. For 2019, anyone working and earning more than $1220 per month will usually be rejected for disability. If you pass the income criteria, your application will be sent to the Disability Determination Services(DDS) for further evaluation based on the following factors:
- Severity – Your medical condition has to significantly limit your ability to lift, stand, sit, walk and remember for at least 12 months.
- List of Disabling Conditions – The SSA keeps a list of medical conditions that prevent Substantial Gainful Activity(SGA). If your medical condition is not on the list, they will have to determine that it matches the severity of the conditions that are listed.
- Past Work – They will then determine if you are unable to perform any of your past work due to your disability. If you cannot do your past job, they will continue the evaluation.
- Other Work – The SSA will determine if there is other work you can do instead of your previous job. For instance, you might be unable to work construction but still be able to work in the industry at a desk job.
Special Situations for Disability Benefits
The SSA may offer benefits to people in special situations such as those who are blind or who have low vision, workers’ widows or widowers, disabled children, wounded warriors and veterans.
Approximately 67% of applicants are denied the first time they apply. Rather than reapply, you should file an appeal. You definitely need to hire a skilled attorney for your hearing since you will be three times more likely to win your appeal if you do. In fact, you will benefit if you seek legal help when you initially apply.
Disability specialists understand how to provide the evidence required by the SSA, and they will also make certain that all of your paperwork is completed correctly. The experts at The Good Law Group can advise you how to proceed through each step of the process and greatly increase your chances of approval.
Getting Social Security Disability benefits(SSD) can be difficult, but it certainly isn’t impossible. Remember, you must be totally disabled to collect this benefit. This determination is not necessarily permanent, however. Many people receive disability for a period of time, perhaps during cancer treatment or a prolonged healing period. Once you can work again, the SSA offers incentives to ease you back into the workforce.