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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security is a way for millions of Americans to get financial assistance if they are disabled. However, it is estimated that the Social Security Administration rejects about 57 percent of the applications received in New York.

If your application is rejected, there is an appeals process where you can plead your case to an administrative law judge, but this is not something you want to do alone.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a relatively clear standard to decide if someone is eligible for benefits, and has a step-by-step process that all applications go through. Having an experienced social security disability lawyer on your side can make the difference between having your application accepted or rejected.

Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits?

In determining whether you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider the following:

  1. Employment Status: The SSA says that if you were at work in 2016 and made an average of at least $1,130 monthly, then you are usually not eligible. Generally, you must be unable to work for at least one year and be under the age of 65.
  2. Paid Into Social Security: In order to qualify for benefits, you must have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years and paid into your Social Security Fund.
  3. Severity: In order for your claim for disability benefits to be substantiated, your medical condition must somehow interfere with “basic work-related activities.”
  4. You Have a Disabling Condition: The SSA maintains a listing on impairments for each part of the body and their associated medical criteria. If your condition is on the list, then you are considered disabled since the condition is considered severe. The SSA has a decision process if your condition is not on the list where they determine if your condition is “of equal severity to a condition that is on the list.”
  5. Ability To Work: If your condition is not on the listing of imperilments, or not equal to one on the list, then the SSA decides if your condition prohibits you from the work you did previously.
  6. The Social Security Administration will review your education and any training you have undertaken, and the types of skills you may have learned while working. They try to decide if you are able to do any of the work you might have done in the past. They also want to determine if they feel you are withholding information about your work history.
  7. Additional Work Opportunities: The SSA will also investigate if you are able to do other type of work if you are not able to do what you did in the past. If they decide that you are able to re-train for other work, your claim for disability will generally be declined.

If you are considering an application for Social Security Disability, or have had your application rejected, you may still have a chance to receive benefits if you enlist the help of an experienced social security disability attorney. Contact Seelig Law today for advice and a free consultation on assistance with eligibility and application for Social Security Disability Benefits.

 


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