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What Is The Criteria For Disability Benefits

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Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that we consider severe enough that it prevents a person from doing substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.

We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:

  • Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
  • Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.

For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits For People With Disabilities website.

What Medical Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability

The medical conditions that usually fall under one of the categories eligible for social security disability benefits are:

  • Cardiovascular System Issues
  • Skin Disorders
  • Special Senses and Speech Issues

If your disability does not fall under one of the above categories, you may still be eligible if you qualify under one of the following categories:

  • You are blind or have low vision
  • You are the workers widow or widower
  • You have a disabled child
  • You are considered a part of the Wounded Warriors & Veterans organization

How Our Lawyer Could Handle Your Disability Benefits Application Process

The process of proving your disability will take time, but you dont have to go through it by yourself. The SSA allows you to assign a representative who can:

  • Correspond with the SSA on your behalf
  • Access and collect your medical records for the purpose of applying for benefits
  • Fill out paperwork on your behalf
  • Accompany you to any interviews or hearings required to complete your application

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Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work

If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.

We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you are disabled. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.

When To Stop Working

The Social Security Disability Benefits Process

A person with MS should stop working when their symptoms interfere with their ability to perform on the job. The symptoms that can cause disability may vary depending on what type of MS a person has and where the lesions are on the brain or spinal cord. Types of MS include:

Not all people who have CIS will develop MS or disability. Relapsing-remitting MS may not lead to permanent disability depending on how often the symptoms come and go. Roughly 85% of people with MS have this type.

Secondary and primary progressive MS are characterized as versions of the disease that worsen over time. Both types of progressive MS can lead to severe disability.A persons ability to work will depend largely on how their disease progresses, and there is no solid timeline for when work will become impossible.

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Can Anyone With A Disability Qualify

Factors such as an applicant’s age can influence the Social Security Administration’s decision on whether to award benefits. Older applicants may have an easier time qualifying for disability benefits but this can vary because they are more likely to have a longer work history. Disabled applicants under 50 years of age tend to have a more difficult time receiving benefits. To a lesser degree applicants 50-54 years of age may also find it more difficult to be approved for disability benefits. In these cases when an applicant does not directly meet SSA standards, a set of tables, sometimes known as “grids”, are applied to determine whether such individuals can be considered disabled and eligible for SSDI benefits. These tables are usually not favorable to these applicants. The assistance of a knowledgeable disability benefits lawyer can be essential to having an application accepted for monthly payments under the Administration’s standards.

Do You Have An Attorney

While you can apply for disability and even attend an appeal hearing without a lawyer, most claimants hire a lawyer if they are initially denied. In a survey we did of our readers, those who had a lawyer at some point in the process were approved 60% of the time, while those who went it alone were approved only 34% of the time. Especially if you don’t have a clear-cut case, you might want to consider hiring a disability lawyer or advocate.

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The Facts On Social Security Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Income For Workers With Disabilities

Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income provide critical lifelines for the roughly 12 million people with disabilities in the United States.

  • Shawn Fremstad
  • Rebecca Vallas

Nearly one out of every six working-age Americans29.5 million peoplehas a disability, making them much more likely to experience economic hardship than people without disabilities. Many people with disabilities are able to work, although they face greater challenges finding work than people without disabilities. But many individuals with severe and long-lasting disabilities have no or only limited capacity to work and are particularly vulnerable to economic hardship.

For roughly 12 million people with disabilities, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, both core components of our nations Social Security system, provide critical lifelines. The modest but vital assistance that Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security provide makes it possible for individuals with severe disabilities and health conditions to live independently, keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, and pay for needed, often life-sustaining medications and other basic expenses.

How Can The Social Security Disability Programs Be Improved To Increase Economic Security And Work Opportunities For Beneficiaries

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Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security increase economic security for millions of disabled workers. For beneficiaries whose conditions improve, the programs also provide important incentives and supports for returning to work. Still, the programs could be further strengthened to increase disabled workers economic security and provide a more seamless transition for those who are able to return to work.

Modernize Supplemental Security

The value of Supplemental Security benefits has eroded considerably since the programs inception in 1972, as the programs income exclusions and asset limits have not kept pace with inflation and living standards. The current maximum benefit is equivalent to just three-quarters of the also-outdated federal poverty line for a single person. The general income exclusion and earned income exclusion have never been increased. To address this erosion, H.R. 1601, the Supplemental Security Restoration Act, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva and introduced in Congress in April 2013, would increase the monthly maximum benefit to $937, which is 100 percent of the current federal poverty line, and would increase the general income disregard to $110 per month and the earned income disregard to $357 a month. Increasing the income exclusions and indexing them to inflation going forward would restore the monthly benefit amount to its intended value and significantly increase beneficiaries economic security.

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Social Security Disability Criteria

The Social Security Administration designed the Social Security Disability Benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance program to pay individuals monthly payment benefits that are unable to work due to a medical condition. There are specific Social Security Disability criteria to qualify for disability insurance under social security. A person has to have a disability that has lasted over one year, is expected to last for more than one year, or is expected to cause death.

The Federal law dictates a rather strict definition of what qualifies as a disability to be eligible for this benefit and does not extend to partial or short-term disability. The SSA only provides benefits for total disability.

The SSA designed the SSDI for those individuals who have not only worked but who have also paid Social Security taxes for years before becoming disabled. If an individual is qualified and deemed disabled, they will receive SSDI benefits regardless of the individuals assets or family income.

If You Determine You May Qualify For A Medical

The medical-vocational allowance usually does not come up until you apply for Social Security disability benefits and are initially denied. However, if you structure your application in terms of the residual function capacity, with detailed explanations from your physicians about how your condition prevents you from performing the demands of your job, then the chances of receiving benefits will increase.

The SSA will look at your work history and work experience to determine what kinds of tasks you have performed in the past and whether you might be able to perform those tasks now, given your condition. If you suspect that you will not qualify for benefits based on the Blue Books guidelines, then think about your work history and how your condition would prevent you from performing those tasks.

In this case, it is important to not only consider your condition but the side effects as well. Does your medication make you too drowsy to operate machinery or remember important information?

Does your condition cause you pain that would distract from your ability to work? When completing your application, make sure that you take time to explain the physical limitations of your diagnosis as you break down your condition.

Each case is different and side effects impact people in different ways. The Blue Book contains general information about medical conditions, but the SSA wont know the specifics of your situation unless you make your physical and mental limitations crystal clear.

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How Do You File For Short

If you believe that youll need to take advantage of your short-term disability benefit, your first step is to make sure that your illness or injury is well-documented, as youll have to provide some medical evidence or backing.

Consult with your doctor and find out what youre up against first. Make sure you speak honestly about your symptoms and the things that you are experiencing. That medical record will be reviewed by an insurance company, so start out with a strong pronouncement of, Hey, Im having this problem, advises McDonald.

Then, approach your HR department to begin the process of filing a claim . Dont have an HR department? Connect with your manager or consult your plan documents to understand exactly what you need to do to submit your claim.

Be aware that short-term disability plans have a requirement for how many days you need to be out of work before you can claim disabilityits called an elimination period. The reason is that they dont want to invoke short-term disability for something that could be covered by sick days, says Bartolic.

Check If Your Impairments Long Term

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A long-term effect means something that has affected you or is likely to affect you for at least a year. For example, if you had an operation that will make walking difficult for at least a year, thats long term.

Your impairment will still be considered to be long term if the effects are likely to come and go. These are known as fluctuating or recurring effects.

For example, youve had periods of depression for a few months at a time but then months in between where it doesnt affect you. Each episode of depression lasts less than 12 months, but it can meet the definition of long term if:

  • it has a substantial adverse effect when it happens, and
  • it could well happen again

Your impairment will also still be considered to be long term if its likely to affect you for the rest of your life even if thats going to be less than a year.

The definition of what is long term is in Schedule 1 of the Equality Act 2010.

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How Much Work Do You Need

In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.

Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.

The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2021, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,880, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.

The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.

Why Are Disability Claims For Generalized Anxiety Disorder Denied

Often, anxiety disorders are caused or aggravated by workplace stressors, such as a hostile boss or coworker. Removing yourself from a hostile work environment may be necessary for your recovery, but it can invite unwanted scrutiny of your short-term or long-term disability claim. Frequently, disability plan administrators will deny such claims by characterizing them as a âworkplace dispute.â However, the cause of your anxiety is mainly irrelevant to whether you are disabled. Far more important are the functional restrictions and limitations documented by your treating providers.

Another favorite tactic of insurers and disability plan administrators is to ignore or minimize the stressfulness of your occupation. Most standard occupational resources do not acknowledge the stressfulness of work unless it involves matters of life and death . Disability plan administrators exploit that omission by ignoring stress in their vocational analyses. For this reason, it is important that your doctors provide concrete restrictions and limitations that can serve as a proxy for stress, instead of offering only generic statements .

If you have questions about obtaining disability benefits due to generalized anxiety disorder or other conditions, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C. for a free consultation.

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Consider Legal Help As You Seek Social Security Disability Benefits

Disabilities can have adverse effects on your quality of life, as well as the quality of life of those who depend on you. Health conditions do not take your character into account, and you could be in a difficult position through no fault of your own. You may be able to ease your financial burden with assistance from various benefits programs. You can reach out to our Social Security Disability attorney, who can guide you through the benefits process.

So How Do You Qualify For Disability Benefits

Compensation 101: What is Disability Compensation?

For anyone applying, the first step in qualifying is meeting the definition of disabled as spelled out by the Social Security Administration . In 2017, about 98,000 people in Arizona received disability payments. The conditions that qualified them were typically quite serious or even terminal.

Even if youre not ready to apply, you can visit the SSA online to get a sense of whether your condition is included. To start receiving payments, most people can expect to go through an application process, answer a series of questions and be prepared to provide supporting documentation.

Applicants typically must meet these qualifying factors:

1. You Meet the Definition of Disability under the Social Security Administration

A person is considered disabled if they are unable to work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year. The condition must prevent them from doing their job or adjusting to a different line of work.

Of course, it can be difficult to know how long you will miss work as a result of a disability. When applying, youll be asked a series of questions to determine whether youre able to continue supporting yourself. You might have to show evidence or explain that your condition is severe enough that youre unable to make enough money to support yourself.

2. Health Conditions that Qualify

Dozens of health issues are considered as possible qualifying conditions for SSDI. Some common ones include:

5. You Have Records

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What You Need In Order To Qualify For A Social Security Benefits

The SSA has regional offices all over the U.S., so there will be an office somewhere near you. To make it easier for you to apply for a benefit, you have three different ways to apply, which are online, by phone and in person at the nearest social security office.

Whichever method you use, you will need to spend some time preparing the documentation you need to support your claim. The main documents you will need to accompany your application include:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful residence in the U.S.
  • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for the last 12 months. Evidence of any other benefits received such as workers compensation payments.
  • Military discharge papers if you were discharged before1968.
  • Medical evidence of your condition such as doctors recent diagnosis, medical history and records, results of recent tests, scans and x-rays relevant to the disability.

The SSA may ask for further documentation if they need clarification of your eligibility for SSDI or your medical status. It pays to provide as much documentation requested as possible to reduce delays or rejections of claims through lack of information.

On the disability application you will be asked a number of questions and will be asked to provide the answers to these as a sample .

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