The Social Security Disability (SSD) program is designed to provide monthly benefits to qualified individuals who are deemed to be disabled and can no longer continue to earn a living as they did in the past. Many people struggle for years with disabling conditions and finally make the decision to apply for disability, only to find out they have been denied benefits. The reality is that just because an individual cannot work does not necessarily mean he or she is “disabled” by SSD standards.
SSD is, in essence, an insurance program paid for through payroll taxes. Eligibility is established by working long enough in jobs that are covered by Social Security. Additionally, there is a very specific application process that must be followed, including the submission of complete and detailed medical records. When applying, you may be denied based on failure to fulfill any of these technical requirements, but an experienced Phoenix social security disability attorney can best help you navigate the application process.
A simple definition of disability is the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to a mental or physical impairment that is able to be diagnosed through acceptable medical techniques, and is expected to last–or has lasted–for a minimum of one year. Otherwise, it must be expected to result in your death. The words of Social Security rules and regulations, however, can have very particular meanings. In particular, there has been past controversy over the meaning of “impairment.”
Listing of Impairments
To assist disability examiners in making this critical determination, the Social Security Administration has compiled an extensive list of common medical conditions considered severe enough to prevent an individual from working. It is divided into two parts: Part A for adults, and Part B for children. If your impairment and medical condition meets a listing exactly, the SSA will in all likelihood find you disabled. The main problem a Phoenix Social Security disability attorney often finds is that most people’s conditions are unique and do not fit precisely with the listing’s specific guidelines.
Equaling a Listing
If your condition does not match a listing, you may alternatively try to demonstrate that your condition is equally as disabling as a listing, or that some combination of impairments in conjunction renders you unable to work. Specifically, you could equal a listing if (1) you have a listed impairment whose conditions do not meet the Listing’s specific standards; (2) you have an impairment without a listing that is similar to others listed; or (3) you have a combination of impairments whose combined effect is “medically equal” to a single impairment. Again, you will need proper medical evidence to prove your disability equals a listing.
Contact Phoenix Social Security Disability Attorney for Legal Advice
For those SSD claimants who are not clearly disabled, the SSA routinely denies their disability application. It is important to continue and fight in the appeal process. Contact a Phoenix social security disability attorney at Schiffman Law Office, P.C. by calling (602) 235-0539.