Answers to Your Disability Benefits Questions
If you have a serious illness or injury, you may be wondering if it would be considered a disability that makes you eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own evaluation process to determine whether you have a disability.
At the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC, we can answer your questions about the process and work with your doctor to provide the SSA with the evidence it needs for your claim. We handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims for clients in the Rochester, NY area from the initial application all the way through appeals, if necessary.
Understanding the Social Security Administration’s Five-Step Process
While every claim is different, applicants for disability can expect that the SSA will use a five-step process to determine if they are disabled, including these questions:
1. Are you working? If you have a full-time job or if you earn more than about $1,000 per month, you are not eligible for SSD or SSI even if you have a severe medical condition.
2. Is your condition a medically severe impairment? You must have an injury or illness that is severe enough to keep you from working for at least 12 months or is terminal.
3. Is your condition a listed impairment? The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that can be disabling. If your condition is on the list and is severe enough, you are automatically eligible for SSD benefits. You may also qualify if your condition is equal in severity to a listed impairment.
4. Can you perform you past work? If your condition does not meet or equal the criteria of a listed impairment, you must prove that you are unable to do any job that you have had during the past 15 years. If you can prove this, you must also prove the fifth and final step.
5. Could you perform any work? You must prove that you cannot perform any other job that exists in significant numbers. This is often the most complicated step in the process. If you prove this, you will be found eligible for benefits. Otherwise, the SSA will determine that you are not disabled.
If you have disability benefits questions, including qualifying for SSA, our lawyers will help you determine whether you have a potential claim for benefits. To arrange your free consultation, contact us online or at 877.236.7366.