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Is My Condition Disabling Enough for Social Security Benefits?

disability

Millions of American workers contribute a portion of their paycheck to Social Security. It is intended to be a safety net to partially fund retirement for older Americans and to provide support in case of a disability.

If you think disability won’t happen to you, think again.

More than 25% of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire, according to the Council for Disability Awareness.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) predicts 5.6 percent of working Americans will experience some type of short-term disability whether an illness or due to injury.

There are two types of benefits you can receive if you become disabled.   Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI is administered by Social Security Administration as are retirement benefits.  It requires you to work a certain number of years paying into the system in order to qualify for disability benefits.

SSI proves a lesser income to people who are disabled, who have limited income, and may never have worked as a result.

Am I Disabled Enough to Qualify for Benefits?

The SSA Blue Book defines which disabilities qualify for SSDI.

You may know for a fact that you can no longer work as you did before and you will be asked to prove you cannot do the work you did previously.  You will be asked if there is other work you can do instead.

The definition used by the Social Security Administration requires that you can no longer perform substantial gainful activity due to your physical or mental disability, which must be very serious.

In order to receive SSDI benefits, your disability should be serious enough that it is expected to result in your death or to continue for the rest of your life.

There are hundreds of different qualifying conditions listed in the Blue Book. Examples might include:

  • You can no longer stand, and your work required you to travel to various work sites and carry heavy equipment.

  • You have experienced amputation and can no longer do the tasks necessary for you job that involved using your arms.

  • You are confined to a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy or MS and can no longer function in the workplace.

  • You are bipolar or experience manic depression and cannot predict when you can professionally converse with others on your team or in an office setting.

  • You have experienced congenital, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, neurological, or immune system disorders that have rendered you disabled.

Your doctor will play an important role in providing the records needed to help establish your disability. Regular doctor visits improve your chance of being approved for benefits and your doctor may be willing to advocate for you in establishing your condition.

Still, expect that 70% of applications are denied the first time. Don’t be discouraged. The SSA uses a strict definition and expect it is more difficult for younger workers to establish that they are permanently disabled.

There is now a four-step appeals process as the Alabama Disability Determination Services reconsiders your application.

If you need help applying for benefits or your application has been denied, Social Security Disability attorney Randy Walton can help you apply or appeal to the next level.  Hiring an experienced social security disability attorney will substantially increase your chances of obtaining approval.  

Your Social Security Disability Benefits Law Firm

After applying for benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov, you will make an appointment with an Alabama office to file the claim.

Expect to have your medical condition assessed, your age, work history, and earnings history all presented before an administrative law judge.

Ultimately, your work history must provide enough work credits to qualify which requires 40 credits. Twenty of those credits must come from the most recent 10 years prior to your disability.

Your work history will be taken into consideration as part of the overall assessment of not only your disability but also the benefit amount.

If there was an accident that led to your disability, you could start receiving benefits five months after the date of disability as the soonest date. You can also receive back benefits to the date of your application in most cases.

Social Security Disability attorney Randy Walton will help you through the process. Contact him as soon as you can after becoming disabled to help complete the application process with no delay. Walton Law’s practice focuses on Social Security Disability benefits, and having Randy’s compassion and experience will more quickly help you obtain what you deserve.

Call Walton Law at (251) 455-5819 so we can start the conversation.

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