What qualifies as a disability when it comes to determining eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is a highly technical and complicated area of law.
If you believe you may be entitled to SSD or SSI benefits, it is important to speak with a West Palm Beach social security attorney to determine your eligibility and maximize your chances of getting the benefits you need.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) bases its decisions about disability by using a multi-step process that asks an applicant to answer several questions and to back up his or her answers with extensive documentation.
First, the SSA will want to know if a disability claimant is working. Contrary to what some people believe, the SSA does not define total disability as the inability to perform any work at all.
On the contrary, a disability claimant is permitted to work while applying for benefits and even after the claimant has been deemed disabled by the SSA. If, however, the work is a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) under Social Security rules for monthly earnings, the claimant will not qualify for benefits.
In addition to asking if a claimant is working, the SSA asks whether the claimant’s condition is severe and whether the condition appears under the SSA’s list of disabling conditions.
A condition is severe under SSA guidelines if it interferes with basic work-related activities. If a claimant’s condition is included on the list of disabling conditions, the claimant may be deemed disabled.
If the claimant’s condition is not on the list, the claimant may still be deemed disabled if the condition prevents the claimant from working in his or her usual job or any other kind of job.
Getting to a determination of “disabled” can be a long, circuitous process. It typically requires comprehensive documentation of the claimant’s medical condition and work history. Without the help of an experienced, skilled Social Security Disability lawyer, a claimant’s chances of obtaining a favorable result are drastically reduced.
If you think you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, it is critical to work with a West Palm Beach Social Security attorney who can guide you through every step of the process. This will give you the best chance of a successful claim, so you can get the benefits you need.
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