Foot drop, especially when combined with other symptoms and complications, can limit your mobility and make it hard to perform many work-related tasks. If you cannot continue to work because of your condition, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability for foot drop (drop foot). If you qualify, you can draw monthly cash benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The Pittsburgh disability attorneys from Berger and Green offer free application reviews and case evaluations and will fight for the benefits you need to make ends meet. We will file your application or represent you during the appeals process to try to get a denial overturned. Call our office today at 412-661-1400 to discuss your situation with a member of our team.
Qualifying for Disability Based on a Foot Drop Diagnosis
Foot drop is not usually a diagnosis on its own. Instead, it is a part of a more pervasive underlying musculoskeletal or neurological condition. This is important to recognize, since foot drop alone is not indicated as a qualifying impairment under the Social Security Administration (SSA) rules.
To get disability based on your foot drop, you will need to check the impairment listings, also called the Blue Book, and look up the underlying cause of your issues. From there, you may be able to get SSDI or SSI if you:
- Have had the condition for a year, or it will last a year; and
- Meet the criteria listed for your condition; and
- Have the medical evidence in your file to prove you meet these criteria.
Medical evidence plays a crucial role in disability cases, so it is a good idea to get your doctor to help your case by discussing your condition and symptoms before you apply. Your doctor can ensure you have the necessary clinical and laboratory tests, medical imaging scans, and notes about treatments and outcomes in your file.
How to Qualify for Benefits If You Do Not Meet a Listing
Many people who apply for disability based on their foot drop symptoms and the related limited mobility do not meet a Blue Book listing. This means they will need to rely on their Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to get benefits.
Your RFC is an evaluation of your current abilities. This evaluation requires a doctor to review your application, records, and medical evidence—or conduct an in-person exam—to complete the assessment. Most commonly, the doctor who performs this will:
- Work for Disability Determination Services;
- Be your own primary care physician; or
- Be a third-party physician paid by the SSA.
Based on this evaluation, you will receive a statement of:
- How often you can work;
- The type of work you can do; and
- How long you can work.
If your RFC proves you cannot work, you might qualify for benefits. If you have questions about how to qualify for benefits through the RFC process, contact us today.
Technical Qualifications for Getting Disability for Foot Drop
To qualify for disability, you must also meet the technical criteria associated with the program. These qualifications include work history requirements, income restrictions, and limits on your personal assets. If you do not meet the qualifications for the program you apply for, the SSA could issue a technical denial. These criteria are different for the SSDI and SSI programs.
SSDI Technical Qualifications
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must:
- Have a solid work history, including enough recent work, to earn the required number of work credits; and
- Earn less than the Substantial Gainful Activity limit from a job.
Technical Qualifications for SSI
For SSI benefits, you must:
- Meet strict household income limits; and
- Have a limited number of assets.
We can determine if you meet these criteria before you apply for benefits.
Fighting for Disability Benefits After a Denial
The first thing to remember if you receive a denial letter is not to panic. This scenario is common, and many people receive a denial the first time they apply. The SSA has an appeals process in place that allows you to challenge a denial on your application.
In Pennsylvania, the first step of the process is requesting a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. This Judge has the authority to overturn your denial and approve your benefits and back pay. However, you only have a limited time to request this hearing after receiving your denial letter.
We can help you file your appeal, request your hearing, and build a case to try to get your denial overturned. Because it can take a year or longer before your appeals hearing date arrives, we will have plenty of time to review your case and the medical evidence in your file. We know what an Administrative Law Judge will look for in a qualifying claim. We will try to build a convincing case on your behalf.
When the date of your hearing arrives, we will represent you and your best interests to the Judge. We will argue for the disability benefits you need. We are often successful in getting benefits for clients during this hearing.
Talk to a Lawyer About Getting Disability for Foot Drop in Pittsburgh.
At Berger and Green, our team offers free reviews of your SSDI and SSI paperwork, and we can file your application for you. If you already received a denial, we can file an appeal to try to get you the disability benefits you need. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for your free consultation with a member of our team.