Our social security disability system was created to help people survive when they are unable to work due to injury or disabling condition. Unfortunately, the system is so needlessly complicated, that nearly 70% of initial disability claims are denied.
This sad statistic is unfortunate, but luckily there are disability lawyers ready to help fight for those whose claims were inappropriately denied.
Who is Eligible for Disability?
In general, those who meet the following criteria are eligible for disability:
- Those who are fully disabled.
- Those who are unable to work.
- Those whose disabilities are likely to last at least one year or will eventually lead to the person’s death.
While these three criteria sound straightforward, the disability process is very arduous and one wrong answer on the questionnaire, filing of paperwork after certain deadlines, or any other small mistake can lead to a denial of benefits.
What are the Specific Questions on the Disability Application?
The questions on the form are similar to the ones listed below:
- Do you Currently Work? To qualify, you must make less than $1,180 each month.
- What is the Severity of Your Condition? Your disability must be severe enough to prevent you from performing your job.
- Do You Have a Diagnosed Disability that is Listed on the SSA’s list of qualifying conditions? The SSA maintains a list of qualifying conditions, available online.
- Can You Perform the Same Job in Which You Were Previously Employed? Your disability must prevent you from completing the work you had been doing for the previous 15 years.
- Can You Perform Any Job? This question is designed to determine whether you would be able to transfer your skills to a job similar to the one you were previously performing.
In addition to the general disability application, there are other types of disability benefits that may apply to your specific situation:
- Benefits for Families of Children with Disabilities: To qualify, the child must be unable to work, have a severe mental or physical disability, and have had the condition for longer than 1 year.
- Social Security Death Benefits: When a parent of a young child dies, the child is generally entitled to benefits if they are: 17 or younger, 18 or older with a disability, or between the ages of 18 and 19 while serving as a full-time student at a secondary education school.
How Can a Disability Lawyer Help Me?
Because the process is challenging and requires that you meet specific deadlines and file everything in very specific ways, a good disability lawyer can ensure that you are doing everything necessary to be approved for disability benefits.
Additionally, if you are denied benefits, your lawyer can help you navigate the appeal process so that you are able to continue your fight to get what you deserve. If you have questions about the disability process, call a disability lawyer today. They would be happy to walk you through the disability application and/or appeal process.