Social Security Disability Claim Requirements

Your Social Security disability benefits claim may be granted at the first level, but this is not always the case. The adjudicator will utilize the same criteria at every level to assess whether an applicant is qualified for benefits.

Health issues like yours triggered the creation of the US Social Security system in the 1930s. More and more benefits and services have been introduced to the program to better meet the needs of individuals in need without putting them or their families at financial risk.

Elements of SSDI Claim

A separate individual will decide on your SSDI application at each level of the procedure. Disability Determination Service (DDS) Examiners conduct initial and reconsideration evaluations of your claim. An Administrative Law Judge will decide at the hearing stage. Regardless of who is looking at your claim, they will analyze it according to the following criteria.

1. How Is Your Disability Affecting Your Career?

A Social Security representative or Administrative Judge will determine whether you are employed. To qualify for disability grants, you must be unable to do a substantial gainful activity (SGA), which means you cannot work and earn more than the current SGA allowance. For people who cannot work because of a medical condition, disability payments are available.

To qualify for disability compensation, the Social Security Administration will consider your work and the amount of time you give to it, even if your present job does not meet this definition. You can hire a lawyer from a reputable law firm like Binder & Binder law firm if you need help in this matter.

2. Do You Qualify as a “Severely Disabled Person?”

The adjudicator will examine medical evidence to assess whether or not you match the SSA’s “severe impairment” criterion. To be labeled as having severe symptoms, you must be unable to carry out even the most fundamental job duties. Standing, walking, sitting, and lifting are all included in this category, as are mental tasks such as recalling specifics, following basic directions, and reacting appropriately to everyday workplace situations. To qualify as a severe disability, you must have been unable to do these duties for at least a year.

If you would want to know if you can qualify for an SSDI claim, you can have a Free Disability Evaluation online offered by different law firms. 

3. Is Your Disability Listed in the SSA’s “Blue Book”?

After confirming that your handicap prevents you from working and is “severe,” the examiner will assess whether it fulfills or is “medically equivalent” to one of the criteria in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments. This list contains medical impairments/disabilities that qualify for SSA benefits and the standards each must fulfill. The SSA’s Blue Book lists 14 primary categories of impairments, each with hundreds of disorders.

There are various conditions that may qualify you as severely disabled. To find out more about these conditions such as neurological disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and the like, you can search the web or ask a lawyer who is knowledgeable about SSDI. Having a Blue Book impairment does not automatically qualify you for benefits. To qualify, your impairment must also fulfill the SSA’s criteria for severity, duration, and disabling consequences.

4. Are You Able to Go Back to Your Previous Work?

The goal of this test is to see whether you are capable of doing the tasks you have done in the past. The adjudicator will consider your RFC (RFC) to reach this conclusion. Even if you have never contributed to the Social Security system because of a handicap, you still have choices. Suppose you don’t have a long work history and hence don’t qualify for the more normal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 

Your claim will be dismissed if it shows that you can do the task you were previously employed to do. As a result, if you fail the test, the examiner will proceed to the next step.

5. Are You Able to Perform Other Work?

The adjudicator will evaluate whether you can perform other jobs and if it’s realistic to expect you to find work based on your talents, age, education, and work experience. If you’re disabled and can’t work, you’ll get benefits (including back pay). Examiners will deny you if they think you can work.

This step is challenging since you, and your attorney must establish to the SSA that you can’t do your former work and other occupations. If you’ve always worked retail, you must prove that your condition prevents you from becoming an administrative assistant, delivery driver, etc.