Social security disability benefits can provide a backup plan for people who have unfortunately lost the ability to earn money. While everyone wants to know how you get social security disability benefits, these benefits are provided to a person if they qualify according to its eligibility criteria.
The Social Security Administration demands that the individual applying for disability benefits meets a certain set of qualifications and requirements provided by the law. You are not guaranteed social security disability benefits if you believe you are disabled, or if your doctor has deemed you disabled.
Another important factor for you to know if you qualify forsocial security disability benefits is that you work a job that is covered by Social Security. People, who are generally deemed “disabled” by the Social Security Administration body, get monthly or annual benefits, depending on their specific case.
Here are the five steps that the Social Security Administration will take to determine if you deserve social security disability benefits.
If You’re Working While Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
Essentially, SSDI benefits are meant for people who are unable to work because of their disability. So if you’re disabled, but not disabled enough to sit at home and not earn money for yourself – you won’t qualify. The Social Security Administration doesn’t consider individuals who can work and earn money as “disabled”.
But the income threshold changes every year. In the year 2020, if you earn more than $1,260 in a single month, you can’t qualify for disability benefits. People who earn less than this amount can qualify, and if you’re still eligible for disability benefits, let’s move on to the next point.
The Severity of Your Disability
As mentioned earlier, your disability does not count if you can earn money for yourself or have the ability to work. For you to qualify for disability benefits, you need to have a severe disability that restricts you from working.
Conditions Recognized By The Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration only recognizes a few medical conditions that would grant you nearly-automatic benefits. The SSA has “Listings” of Impairments that mentions all the disabilities recognized by them that would be exceptionally strong cases likely to be approved. For example, if you have a disability listed by the SSA and you’re looking to get social security disability benefits, you need to have the specific symptoms listed in the Listing of Impairments. If these are found in your records, you are likely to get approved.
The SSA also determines if your case is a “compassionate case”. A compassionate case can get a person disability benefits quicker than other cases because compassionate cases are qualified when the diagnosis is confirmed.
Another type of case is a Quick Disability Determination (or “QDD”) case. In these types of cases, a computer program scans the information provided by the person disabled, and determines its accuracy.
Unfortunately, these exceptionally strong cases that qualify for the “Listings” or compassionate care or QDD are very rare. If you do not qualify under one of these categories, all hope is not lost! You should call our Firm to assist you through the process and make the proper alternative arguments using other theories that could also get you benefits, even if your case does not qualify for one of the above.
If You’re Able to Do the Work You Used to Do
Some people have to go the extra mile to prove their disability. So if your disability does not specifically fall in the Listing of Impairments, you need to go through the final two steps to prove your disability.
You need to prove that your condition is severe enough that it does not allow you to work. Quite simply, in this case the SSA is trying to determine if your disability has stopped you from earning money. If your condition doesn’t interfere with your ability to do the work you previously used to do, you are not disabled according to the SSA.
But if your disability is proving to be a clear barrier in your job, you can move on to the next step.
Your Ability to Do Other Work
The last step for receiving disability benefits is to prove to the SSA that you are unable to do other work as well. Normally, when people are unable to do the work they used to do before, the SSA wants to know if the person affected can learn other skills that can help them earn money.
In this step, the SSA looks at the following factors to determine if you qualify:
- Medical Condition
- The type of work experience an individual has
- Transferrable skills that the individual can take to any other profession
If you are unable to do other types of work too, you are disabled according to the SSA. But if you do demonstrate the ability to work in other professions, the SSA won’t label you as disabled.
Bonus Step: Vocational Allowance
Some individuals can still qualify for disability benefits under the medical-vocational allowance. A medical vocational allowance is responsible for determining if you are physically and mentally able to perform the tasks of your job. But with that being said, the SSA takes into consideration:
- Work History
- Residual Function Capacity (RFC)
If you are found to be disabled to do any kind of work, you’ll be eligible for benefits under the medical-vocational allowance.
It is understandable that when an individual is out of work, their ability to pay for an attorney is impacted. That is why Kahn and Associates take most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means they do not require any payment unless they are successful in securing benefits for you.
To learn more about your rights under the Social Security Disability laws call our FREE Disability Hotline at 1-866-4-MY-SSDI (469-7734) to speak with one of our friendly disability rights advocates who, once they obtain all the required information, will evaluate your claim in 60 seconds or less or fill out our FREE Disability Case Assessment form and one of our representatives will contact you immediately.