Social Security Disability

"Proving that you meet SSA's eligibility requirements for disability can be a daunting task."

If you are like most Americans, you've worked most of your adult life and paid Social Security tax. Now, you're disabled and need to apply for Social Security Disability. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict eligibility requirements for people seeking disability and proving that you meet those requirements can be a daunting task.

How Does SSA Define Disability?

Simply, your physical or mental condition must be such that you are unable to work. SSA determines your ability or inability to work in a series of steps. First they determine whether you can do work that you did previously. If you are unable to perform work you did previously, it is then determined if you might be suited for other work. Once it is proven that you cannot work in any "gainful" activity, you're one step closer. Finally, your disability must have lasted or will last more than a year or result in death.

"Your medical condition is the most important factor in determining your eligibility."

Work History + Medical Condition = Eligibility

The foundation of your eligibility is based on two things-medical evidence of your condition and your work history.

Ultimately, your medical condition is the most important factor in determining your eligibility. To qualify under SSA's medical guidelines your condition must be included on the list of medical impairments maintained by The Social Security Administration. With consideration of the human body's major systems, SSA has created a list of ailments and conditions that are used to determine disability. Certain conditions automatically qualify you for disability, and there are special conditions for people with particular disabilities like blindness. If your condition is not on SSA's list of medical impairments, then it must be determined whether the severity of your particular condition is equal to a condition that is listed and thus makes you eligible.

Your work history is the other factor used in determining your eligibility. You must have earned enough credits to qualify. Credits are earned when you work and pay Social Security tax. To qualify, you must have worked long enough and recently enough.

How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability?

The easiest way to apply for Social Security Disability is on line by visiting the Social Security Administration's website. It's convenient. There's no need for an appointment. You can start the application, save it and return to it later if you need to; and your claim begins immediately. Or, you can visit your local Social Security Office.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Decision?

It generally takes an average 90 days to get an answer on your request for disability. It could come sooner, but it also could take as long as five months depending on things like the nature and severity of your disability and the time required to gather all medical evidence.

How Can I Check the Status of My Application?

If you filed on line you can simply go to SSA's website and get the information you need. Or you can call or visit your local social security office. Status updates will usually include the date your application was taken, whether any additional documents have been requested, the address of the office handling your application and whether any decision has been made.

"After that first, maybe second denial letter, most people call a good attorney."

What if My Application is Denied?

You will be informed in writing whether your application for disability has been approved or denied. If you have been denied you have 60 days from the day you received the letter to file a disability appeal. SSA assumes that you received your letter within five days of the mail date unless you can prove otherwise. You can appeal on line or by visiting your local Social Security Office.

The appeals process has four steps: reconsideration; hearing by an administrative judge; review by an Appeals Council and a Federal Court review. You have the option to continue the appeals process utilizing these successive steps all the way to the top. At each step your application is reviewed by a new and neutral party with no prior knowledge of your case.

Then What?.......Call Edwin Shorty and Associates

SSA has strict eligibility requirements. Some cases fall outside those requirements, but still have a legitimate claim for disability. This is why you need the help of an experienced and knowledgeable legal team to investigate your claim, gather the evidence and build a case that proves your disability and gets you the compensation you rightfully deserve.

The law office of Edwin Shorty and Associates has more than 10 years experience in Social Security law. If you or a member of your family has been denied Social Security Disability, let us help you.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our number is (504) 207-1370.