The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monetary benefits to disabled Americans who are no longer able to support themselves through full employment. These disability programs can provide monthly monetary support that replaces the wages lost due to disability. However, securing these benefits is not always simple.
The SSA has been known to deny claims for disability benefits. These denials can happen even when the facts of your case strongly support approval. While this can be frustrating, it does not mark the end of your disability claim. A Canfield social security disability lawyer can help you pursue the benefits you need.
What Constitutes a Disability?
There are countless physical injuries, emotional conditions, and illnesses that could result in a successful Social Security disability claim. To recover disability benefits, the term means the inability to engage in “substantial gainful activity.” Substantial gainful activity relates to your ability to earn a living.
Benefits could be available if you are largely unable to support yourself due to your limited ability to maintain employment.
The process of establishing the conditions for disability can vary from one case to another. In some situations, it might be possible to qualify for benefits with a formal diagnosis of certain conditions. Alternatively, the SSA may require additional evidence to prove that you are disabled.
The Blue Book
The simplest way to establish a disability is to receive a diagnosis from a doctor for a condition listed in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book. The Blue Book is a list of all of the conditions currently recognized by the SSA. If you are diagnosed with one of these conditions, that could be enough to show you are disabled for the purposes of Social Security disability benefits. Some of the conditions listed in the Blue Book include:
- Vision impairment
- Spinal issues
- Severe burns
- Short bowel syndrome
- Immune system disorders
- Down syndrome
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s
Not every disabling condition is listed in the Blue Book. While it contains many of the conditions that are likely to lead to disability, it is not always possible to receive a complete diagnosis. In some cases, having symptoms from multiple disabling conditions can make it difficult to determine the exact cause.
The good news is that you could recover benefits even without a diagnosis of a condition in the Blue Book. In these cases, the SSA will require additional proof of your condition. To do so, you will need a diagnosis of some type of impairment as well as proof of how it has impacted your life.
You could rely on medical records, X-rays, or lab test results to establish that your condition prevents you from substantial gainful activity. The important thing is that you can prove the condition that prevents you from a substantial gainful activity is as serious as those listed in the Blue Book.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Canfield, call 412-661-1400
What Types of Benefits Are Available?
There are two separate disability benefit programs operated by the SSA. One is known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The other is referred to as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). While both programs offer monthly monetary benefits, they are designed to cover two very different groups of people.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI benefits are carefully regulated and means-tested. They are designed for low-income individuals whose disability prevents them from meeting their basic needs. This means testing applies to more than just annual income. It also takes into account investments and other property. Disabled individuals with assets above the threshold are not entitled to benefits through SSI.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Eligibility for SSDI is not based on means testing. Instead, access to these benefits is limited based on your prior work history. SSDI benefits are paid for by payroll taxes. The more you contribute to these taxes over the years, the more you will be eligible to recover should you file an SSDI claim.
SSDI benefits are awarded based on something known as “work credits.” The more work credits you have in the last ten years, the more likely you are to receive the maximum benefits available through SSDI.
Canfield Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
When Should You File for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Unsure about when to apply for benefits? There is no reason to delay pursuing a claim for SSDI or SSI once you have suffered a disability that prevents you from working. The sooner you apply, the sooner you could begin to receive benefits.
What’s more, both SSI and SSDI can pay back benefits which are calculated in part by using the date of your application. Even if your case takes time to conclude, you could be entitled to benefits that would have accrued during the course of your case.
Even if your claim is ultimately denied, you have the right to appeal. Given this opportunity, it is better to pursue your claim as soon as possible. Your attorney could work with you to develop the strongest claim possible in your case.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Social Security Disability Claim
You do not have to undertake the process of seeking disability benefits on your own. This process can be difficult, especially if you are living with a life-changing disability. The team at Berger and Green is ready to help you fight for Social Security disability benefits. Contact us today for your free consultation.