Information We Need About Your Work And Education
To decide whether you are disabled, we use a five-step process. Listed below are frequently asked questions about Step 4 and Step 5 of the process.
We need to find out about your past work to decide if you can still do it. To make this decision, we need to know how you did your job. We also need to know if you learned skills on your job.
We need this information to see if you can do any of your past work. Remember that you are not disabled according to our rules unless your illnesses, injuries or conditions prevent you from doing your past work or adjusting to other work.
Information about your education and training are also very important to us. If you cannot do your past work, we look at your age, education, training, and work experience to see if you can do other kinds of work.
;Disclaimer: The following is general information only. The Social Security Act and related regulations, rulings and case law should be used or cited as authority for the Social Security disability programs.
Document Your Physical Symptoms
Long haul Covid-19 may present a vague set of symptoms, not unlike other conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue that have also been approved for Social Security disability benefits.
However, these types of conditions are more difficult to prove because they generally cannot be diagnosed with one medical test.
“Those aren’t going to be awarded as quickly, because you need to see those over a period of time,” Geist said. “You need a longitudinal history there, and those can be more difficult to document.”
The best way to establish a record of your symptoms is to share them with your doctor and to have them document what is going on.
For example, if you have migraines, how long do they last? What does your recovery process look like?
Keeping track of those details will help if your application has to be considered by a judge, Geist said.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability is an insurance program paid by your FICA taxes.
All working Americans contribute 7.65 percent from every paycheck to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes.
Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, FICA taxes total 15.3 percent of your earned income. A total of 12.4 percent of your earned income is paid into Social Security, an additional 2.9 percent of your earned income is paid into Medicare. If you are an employee, you pay only half the FICA taxes , your employer pays;in;the other 7.65 percent. People who are self-employed pay in the entire 15.3 percent).
Some of that payment goes toward disability insurance coverage by the Social Security Administration. However, bureaucratic problems plaguing Social Security Administrations Disability Insurance program often prevent;the fair;and speedy distribution of disability benefits to people who are eligible.
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Social Security Disability Benefits And Arthritis
Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability. How does a person suffering from arthritis qualify for Social Security disability benefits? According to Jim Allsup, the Social Security Administration uses a process called sequential evaluation to determine who will receive disability benefits. Mr. Allsup is president and CEO of Allsup Inc. Since 1984, Allsup claims his company has:
- Successfully helped over 300,000 people nationwide receive their entitled disability benefits.
- Achieved a 90% award rate.
Patients who have been helped by Allsup often suffer from rheumatic conditions and musculoskeletal diseases such as:
Expect Possibly Longer Wait Times
In March 2020, the Social Security Administration mostly shuttered its in-person services.
Today, it is still largely processing correspondence online and via postal mail.
A recent investigation by the Social Security Office of the Inspector General found there have been some big delays for people waiting on application decisions.
Currently, it’s taking about 125 days for the agency to process an initial claim, Geist said. For applications that are reconsidered, there’s an additional four months to six months, he said.
So if you’re planning to file an application for benefits for any disabling condition, including Covid-19 and associated long haul issues, “the earlier, the better,” Geist said.
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Myth: Why Bother I’ll Just Be Denied
Not true for everyone, says William Jarrett, a spokesperson for the Social Security Administration. While Jarrett says standards are strict, and the process is rigorous, the SSA wants to be certain the person is truly disabled and unable to work. And the rejection rate is high, he says.
”The;allowance rates for disability claims;in fiscal year 2013, the most recent data available, was around 33 percent,” he says. That means 33 percent of the applications received in fiscal year 2013 were approved.
“In my experience, people rarely get it the first time they apply,” says Melissa Proudian, an attorney in Fresno, California, whose primary focus is on Social Security;disability cases. But if you’re denied the first time around, you can appeal.
And if the administration determines that you have a true, severe disability, they pay out.
How Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
Disability benefits are available to qualified recipients under two programs, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income .;; SSI is a means-tested program for people with disabilities who have very limited means, but SSDI is an insurance program that is available to qualified workers with disabilities regardless of their resources.; As of January 2018, some 13.8 million disabled workers and their dependents were receiving SSDI benefits from Social Security.
SSDI pays cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability. Benefits continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis, or until you reach retirement age. At that point, the disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. After receiving SSDI benefits for two years, you also become eligible for health insurance coverage under Medicare. The disability program also includes a number of work incentives to ease your transition back to work.
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Who is eligible?
As with retirement benefits, you must have accumulated a certain number of work credits before you can qualify for SSDI disability benefits. However, fewer credits are required to qualify for the disability program than for retirement. You can earn up to four credits per year of employment. How many credits you need to qualify for disability depends on the age you become disabled.
Who is “disabled”?
What Are The Rules For Social Security Disability After Age 50
As a general rule, the older you are, the easier it is to get Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income . That is because special Social Security Disability rules apply if you are over the age of 50, 55, or 60. Keep reading to learn more about how your age affects your SSDI or SSI claim.
What Are The Chances Of Getting Benefits
At first glance, it might appear that the criteria for schizophrenia are so broad it would be easy to meet them, but this is not the case. Medical records are often specific as to an individual’s symptoms and the resulting limitations, but they seldom describe exactly how a condition prevents one from working, a concept that is key to being awarded disability benefits. Even disability examiners and judges who are well schooled in the criteria that must be met to qualify for SSDI/SSI must refer to their manuals when it comes to conditions like schizophreniaâthe definition is so broad as to be open to quite a bit of individual interpretation. Interpreting an applicant’s medical records in a way that will persuade a disability examiner or judge that one is unable to work can be difficult.
Although some schizophrenics get turned down after their initial disability application, the overall allowance rate is over 80% for individuals with schizophrenia. Those who are able to manage the process of appealing and wait for a hearing date are usually successful in getting disability benefits.
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Listing 200 Special Senses And Speech
Many times, sense and speech issues will not qualify for SSD benefits, however, there are a few exceptions that do qualify. These disabilities include the sudden onset of blindness and/or loss ofhearing, the loss of speech making the individual unable to be heard or understood, and conditions that impair the loss of balance such as Menieres Disease. View full Blue Book List here
Fact: Ssdi Payments Don’t Kick In Immediately
Processing can take three to five months, according to the Social Security Administration. When your request is approved, you will receive a letter with the effective date. Your first payment will be for the sixth full month following your disability effective date, according to Social Security.
For example, if you get a letter that approves your claim and sets a disability effective date of January 15, your first payment will be for the month of July. But you’ll actually get that payment in August, since payments are made one month after the month they cover.
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Contact An Experienced North Carolina Ssd Benefits Lawyer
The SSA maintains a list of impairments that are considered so severe that they automatically qualify one for disability benefits as long as all other requirements are met. These conditions are found in the SSAs Blue Book, which describes the medical evidence that is needed to prove the impairment.
You can also be declared disabled if you have a condition that is considered to be equal in severity to a listed impairment.
Even if you dont have a listed impairment or one considered equal in severity to a listed one, you may still be deemed to be disabled if you can show that your medical condition keeps you from working or doing any other type of work.
Allow Hardison & Cochran to put its skill and experience to work for you in seeking disability benefits. In particular, we can help you to gather the medical evidence you need to show you are disabled.
Contact us today;and receive a free and immediate review of your case.
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You Must Receive Routine Doctor
One way the SSA determines your eligibility for monthly disability benefits hinges on your credibility as an applicant. If you havent sought treatment for your condition or discussed symptoms with your doctor, it looks bad to the SSA. If you arent treated, the SSA automatically assumes your condition isnt limiting you as much as you say it is. The more documented evidence from your doctor showing regular treatment appointments and progress notes, the higher your chances for approval. Among all disability secrets, this ones likely to result in your technical denial if you cant or wont follow through. In other words, no physician actively treating your disability = no claim approval for benefits. If you cannot afford to see a doctor, make an in-person appointment at the SSA office for a referral.
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Listing 700 Hematological Disorders
Hematological Disorders refer to disorders that affect your blood. Some disorders include blood diseases such as anemia and hemophilia. This category also includes circulatory problems such as Raynauds Disease and Chronic Venous Insufficiency , as well as some conditions that affect the lymph nodes.; View full Blue Book List here
Does Carpal Tunnel Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a relatively common and notoriously painful condition. According to data published by the American Academy of Family Physicians , carpal tunnel syndrome affects millions of people nationwide. The severity of the injury can vary based on a number of different factors. In the worst circumstances, carpal tunnel can be wholly debilitating.;
This raises an important question: Can you qualify for Social Security disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome? The short answer is yesbut carpal tunnel is not a listed impairment, meaning it can be difficult to qualify. In this article, you will find an overview of the most important things to know about carpal tunnel syndrome and Social Security disability benefits.
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What Is Residual Functional Capacity
Residual functional capacity measures how much your condition hinders your ability to work. The SSA will first look at how your condition hinders your ability to do your current or most recent job. Next, they will look at how your condition affects your ability to do any job. If your condition prevents you from working a job that you might qualify for, you may be approved for benefits.
People Question How You Spend Your Money
Receiving disability benefits is far from winning the lottery. I get about $1,250 in my bank account every month, which is well below the poverty line. Its not enough money to buy a home, a car, or anything other big splurges that people my age buy so freely. Yet, when people see you dressed well or going on vacation, they think you have all the money in the world.
The truth is people who receive disability benefits know what its like to struggle and survive through that struggle. We know what its like to not be able to do what we want. The majority of the money goes to basic necessities such as food and bills. There isnt enough wiggle room for extras. This has forced the word no into my vocabulary a big adjustment, as I have always considered myself to be a yes person. Now I have to say no, out of necessity, to certain invitations or opportunities that I simply cant afford at that moment.;Pain and hardship teach you how to budget, save, and treat yourself to something once in a while.
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Tips For Winning Your Disability Claim
Like we mentioned earlier, the amount that you will earn from Social Security benefits is pretty set in stone, so your focus should be on winning your case rather than earning as much as possible. Unfortunately, the burden of proving that your COPD is severe enough for benefits is largely in your hands. This is why youll need to be accurate and concise about the way you apply for benefits. The turnaround time for an SSDI application is several months at best, so you should be prepared to submit a thorough application the first time around rather than having to risk waiting for them to process your application a second time. Follow the tips below to get you started.;
Social Security Eligible Disabilities
Whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income , you must have an eligible disability or medical condition to qualify for benefits. Your disability must prevent you from generating enough income for a year or longer. The Social Security Administration has a list of eligible disabilities and illnesses broken into 14 sections, called the Blue Book. These updated conditions are broken into 14 sections and include the below categories:
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Your Disability Is Based On Drug Addiction Or Alcoholism
The SSA will deny benefits to someone whose drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor to his or her disability. The key factor a DDS medical consultant must consider when making a DAA determination is whether or not the SSA would still find you disabled if you stopped using drugs or alcohol.
For more information, see Nolo’s article on when drugs or alcohol will prevent you from getting disability.
Listing 1400 Immune System Disorder
Listing 14.00 details an array of immune system disorders that are generally deemed eligible for disability benefits. Here is a sampling of some of the immune disorders referenced in Listing 14.00 :
- Connective Tissue Disease
- Inflammatory Arthritis
If you are 50 years of age or older, the Medical Vocational Guidelines may be helpful in assessing your ability to maintain employment. For an application who is 50 years of age or older whose symptoms have adversely impacted their ability to walk, stand and carry, may be deemed disabled based on Grids guidelines.
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Qualifying For Social Security Disability Without Meeting A Medical Listing
Keep in mind that even you dont meet the Blue Book listing for COPD, there is another way to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits if your conditions is severe enough. If you can prove that your COPD causes you to be unable to earn a minimum monthly income, you can still be approved for a medical-vocational allowance.
The Social Security Administration will figure out your Residual Functioning Capacity by looking at your limitations, as well as your education and work history.;Your RFC will take into consideration the type of work you know how to do, and if the physical activity of the work exacerbates your symptoms.
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Common Difficulties When Seeking Ssdi And Ssi Benefits
There are many difficulties you may face when filing for Social Security disability benefits and a wide range of reasons that your claim may be denied. One of the most common problems people run into is not having enough medical evidence to prove that theyre disabled by the SSAs standards. This often affects those with invisible illnesses or disabilities, like crippling psychological disorders.
Another problem many applicants have is a history of denials. The more denials you have, the more difficult it can be to get accepted. This is why its important to go through the appeals process if your claim is denied the first time rather than submitting a new claim.
Having too much income is another common difficulty people face. Because disability benefits are intended for individuals who cannot work, the SSA has strict rules surrounding income. Those who are applying for disability benefits may be denied if theyre currently working and making more than a certain amount.
Failing to follow the doctors prescribed treatment plan for your disability is another common reason for denials. Finally, those who fail to cooperate with the SSA will also likely be denied. Its important to understand that a whopping 70% of all disability applications are denied the first time. However, a denied claim DOES NOT mean that you cant get benefits.
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