If you are unable to work because of a disability, you may be wondering if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. In this article, we will discuss the conditions that automatically qualify you for Social Security disability. Keep in mind that these are not the only conditions that can qualify you for benefits; however, they are some of the most common, and Merryl Jones, Second Chance Lawyer, has experience representing people with more than 20 different Social Security disability conditions.
Which Conditions Automatically Qualify You for Disability
There are no conditions that automatically qualify someone for disability benefits. However, there are certain conditions that make it more likely that an individual will be approved for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a list of impairment categories, and if your condition is listed under one of these categories and meets the criteria required concerning the severity of the specific condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
The most common impairment categories that lead to Social Security disability approval are:
Special Senses and Speech
Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
Immune System Disorders
If you are suffering from a condition that is not listed under one of these categories, you may still be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA will consider your condition as a whole, taking into account your age, education, past work experience, and any other impairments you may have in addition to your primary condition.
Does my impairment need to be on the SSA list?
No, but it makes the process easier. If your impairment is on the SSA list, you are considered “disabled” if the SSA finds that your condition meets or equals a listing.
What if my impairment is not on the SSA list?
The SSA will consider a wide variety of factors, one of the most important being whether you are able to work or not based on your condition. This is the most important factor of all and is determined by considering your condition along with a variety of other social and life factors mentioned above.
If your condition is not on the SSA’s list, then you can still present a formal diagnosis of your condition, proving it to be a “medically determinable impairment.” This is defined as an impairment that is preventing you from working and doing your daily activities as normal.
Medically determinable impairment will be determined by a review of your complete medical records. The SSA will also send you to one of their doctors for a thorough examination if needed.
You must provide documentation of your condition in order to be approved for Social Security disability benefits. This documentation should come from a qualified medical source, such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, or psychologist in the case of a mental health condition.
The SSA uses a measure known as the “residual functional capacity” to determine this. This is defined as the level of work you are still able to do despite your condition.
For example, if you are suffering from a heart condition that prevents you from doing heavy lifting, but you are still able to sit for long periods of time and do light office work, then the SSA will likely find that you have a residual functional capacity that would allow you to do sedentary work if you are under the age of 50. Different rules apply for older individuals.
The Application Process for Disability Benefits
If you think you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, the best first step is to contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney. The application process can be complex and difficult to navigate on your own, and a Social Security attorney can help ensure that you are putting your best foot forward.
The process usually starts with an application, which can be done online, over the phone, or in-person at your local Social Security office.
After you have submitted your application, the next step is usually a disability interview. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your medical conditions and how they impact your ability to work.
From there, your case will go through a few more steps, including a review of your medical records and, in some cases, a disability hearing.
At each stage of the process, you have the right to a third-party representative, such as an attorney.
If you are approved for Social Security disability benefits, you will likely receive back pay for the months that you were out of work due to your condition, as well as ongoing monthly payments. The amount of these payments will vary depending on your individual circumstances.
Do I qualify based on the Social Security disability conditions?
The best way to find out whether you qualify based on Social Security disability conditions is to get in touch with Merryl Jones, Second Chance Lawyer. Our law offices have represented people with various conditions for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Contact us online today, or call us at 800-749-36120 for a free case evaluation.