Understanding the social security disability laws can be difficult. It may seem like one person you know who you think can work was quickly and easily approved for benefits, while others who really look to be unable were denied. Knowing more about the rules and regulations that govern the disability approval process may help you better understand why some people you know are approved and others are denied – as well as your own likelihood of being approved.
Here are the primary qualifying factors for social security disability, according to a social security disability attorney:
You Cannot Perform Work That You Once Could
This is perhaps the biggest indicator for most people that it’s time to consider filing for social security disability benefits. When you’re no longer physically or mentally able to perform tasks that you once could during your previous or current employment, you may need to leave the working world. It makes no difference if your medical problems result from an injury, surgical procedure, illness, or from any other cause.
You Can’t Reasonably Find Other Work in Your Range of Ability
Just as it may be difficult for some people to continue working after certain life occurrences, others may find that they are no longer or never able to find work that suits their abilities. For those with physical disabilities or handicaps, this is especially true. While workplaces are working to accommodate disabilities, many still don’t offer enough opportunity for physically or mentally disabled people to enjoy gainful employment. The question in claims for disability benefits under the Social Security Act is whether there are jobs that exist in significant numbers that an individual can perform in light of their age, education, work experience and medical limitations. If not, the individual may qualify for benefits.
Your Disability or Medical Condition is Long-Term, Permanent, or Terminal
When is an illness, injury, or other condition considered a disability? There is much debate about this topic, but legally the definition is rather clear. If the individual has what is referred to as a medically determinable impairment – meaning a condition that can be shown to exist by medical testing and evaluations – and the condition(s) either singly or in combination, prevents full time work for 12 months or longer, or the condition is considered terminal, then the person can be found to be disabled. If the individual is working on a part-time basis, but earning more that what the Social Security Administration defines as substantial gainful activity (in 2018 defined as $1180 per month after consideration of out of pocket medical expenses required to permit the individual to work), that work activity would disqualify the individual from qualifying for social security disability insurance benefits.
Still not sure where your situation fits into all of this? That’s because the rules may be clear, but the exceptions and special circumstances that surround them are often much less so. If you’re looking for help from a Phoenix, AZ social security disability attorney, contact the legal experts at Schiffman Law Office. We can help you determine your eligibility, fight unjust decisions against you, and work to get you the benefits you deserve. Don’t wait another week without income; contact Schiffman Law Office today!