Social Security disability benefits are intended to help those who can no longer work due to a physical or mental impairment and has previously worked a job covered by Social Security. A Social Security covered job means that an individual has worked and paid Social Security taxes on his or her earnings. This program is designed to provide monthly financial support to individuals whose condition interferes with basic work-related actives such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and remembering. Not all medical conditions are considered a disability. The challenge in receiving these benefits is in meeting the strict definition of disability described by the Social Security Act.
To be considered “disabled” under the Social Security Act means you must be unable to engage in substantial, gainful work activity (SGA) (for wages or profit) on a sustained basis due to medical conditions that are severe in nature and are likely to last twelve consecutive months or result in death. A disability determination involves the following:
- Are you working?
- Is your medical condition “severe”?
- Does your condition meet the medical criteria of impairments? (list of qualified impairments)
- Can you do any other type of work?
There are special rules for the blind, hearing impaired and children. Social Security disability benefits may also be eligible for specific members of your family. There are separate rules that apply to family members. Children may be eligible from birth if they are determined to meet specific physical or mental limitation requirements. The following are some examples of conditions in children that may qualify for Social Security disability:
- Severe intellectual disabilities
- Total deafness
- Cerebral Palsy
- And more
Strict requirements must be met before you will be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Therefore, it is essential that your disability is well-documented from the time you became disabled to the present. When you apply, there is a specific procedure to be followed and strict deadlines that must be met. The process is detailed, lengthy and you have the right to representation by an attorney of your choice.
Initial application denials for Social Security disability are common because of the strict requirements. Your initial application may be denied because they determine that your disability does not meet the strict definition, you make too much money to qualify, or that your disability is short term. If your application is denied, you may appeal the decision.
There are several levels of appeal that you can pursue if your application is denied. First, you may request consideration. If your claim is still denied, you can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. If you are unhappy with the results of the hearing, you can ask that the decision be reviewed by the Social Security Appeals Council. Finally, if your claim is denied review by the Council, you can pursue Social Security disability in federal district court. An attorney can help you navigate these complicated processes to secure Social Security disability benefits.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a challenging process. Let our attorneys with decades of Social Security disability experience help file a claim on your behalf or assist you in appealing a denied claim. Call us at 888-748-KING (5464) or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation.