Before Applying for Disability Benefits, You Need to Consider This
Well, to be honest, there isn’t just one thing you need to consider. However, there are ones that are a bit more important. If you are wondering if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you have come to the right place. Every year millions of Americans like you apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Yet, only a fraction of those applications get approved. Here are some things to consider before applying for disability benefits.
1. Are You Disabled Enough?
While you may be disabled, the SSA has precise guidelines for defining someone as disabled enough not to work. And that is the main question they will seek to answer: Are you unable to work due to your disability? Or could you potentially adjust to less strenuous work duties? The SSA will determine your residential functioning capacity (RFC) to decide if you cannot work.
The SSA does have a Blue Book, an impairment listing manual. This list outlines the criteria for mental and physical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. Please note, though, that this is not all-encompassing, and if you don’t see your health condition listed, it does not mean you will be denied or do not qualify.
2. Can You Support it Medically?
Even if it is listed, your health records must back up your claims. Applicants must provide evidence that their condition prevents them from working for at least twelve months. This is where your doctors can help. Having well-documented health care check-ups and history regarding your condition. This should also include, but is not limited to, exam results, laboratory reports, and treatment plans.
The SSA will take into account all acceptable medical sources when determining your claim. Therefore, it is not wise to “tough it out” and avoid seeing your doctor. Quite the opposite is true. You should be honest and open to speaking with your medical professionals about anything that causes pain or daily disruptions.
3. What Is Your Work History?
The biggest misconception with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit program is that it’s free money. It’s simply not true. Actually, you pay into this via your FICA taxes. That is why your work history is important to consider. To be approved, you must have contributed a certain amount to the system. This greatly depends on your age and the number of years you’ve been in the workforce. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program does not have a work history requirement.
It isn’t just how long you have worked, but what you have done. Things like education and skill sets will also be taken into consideration. This somewhat circles back to our first question about the severity of your disability. Does it hinder you from doing any job or just the occupation you currently have or have done with in the last fifteen (15) years?
4. Do I Need Help Applying?
This might be the easiest question to answer. If you look at the three considerations above and aren’t sure where you stand, yes, get help. If you do have those answers, yes, get help. It’s not just because it’s a long and somewhat tedious process, but actually many people get denied that shouldn’t be. That is why we are here to help!
With a team behind your back, we work hard for you to get you the disability benefits you deserve. At DSS, we help you with everything from understanding SSA’s eligibility criteria to filling out applications and handling your hearing. Our no-obligation free consultations are a great way to start, no matter where you are in the process. Call us today at 410-244-006 to learn more.