Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security defines disability differently than other programs. You will only be able to get disability if you are totally disabled. You cannot get social security if your disability is temporary, or you are partially disabled. A person is classified as disabled if he or she is unable to work. You are considered disabled if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are unable to work the same way that you did in the past
  • You are unable to adjust to work because of your medical condition
  • You have been disabled for at least one year, or the disability can result in death
There are strict requirements for getting social security disability. The government assumes that people who are temporarily disabled have access to workers compensation, insurance, and savings that will allow them to provide for themselves until they recover.

How the Government Decides Whether You Are Disabled

Are you working?
If you are working and bringing in at least $1,130, then you likely will not qualify for disability.

Is the Condition Severe?
Your condition must prevent you from doing basic work-related activities. If your condition does not interfere with your ability to work, then the government will not consider you disabled.

Is Your Condition on the List of Disabling Conditions?
The Social Security Administration has a list of conditions that they consider disabling. However, even if your condition is not on the list of disabling conditions, you may still be able to qualify. It must be equally as severe as the conditions on the list.

Can you do the Same Work you did Before you Became Disabled?
Your condition must interfere with your ability to do your previous work. If your condition does not cause an interference, then your claim will likely be denied.

Are you Able to do any Type of Work?
Even if you are unable to do your previous job, you may still be able to do another type of job. Your age, medical condition, skills, and education are taken into consideration before your claim is approved. If you have the skills and education to find another type of job, then your claim will likely be denied. However, if you cannot adjust to another type of work, then your claim will likely be approved.

What Types of Conditions Qualify You for Disability

  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Immune system disorders
  • Digestive tract disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Blood disorders
What Types of Conditions Do Not Qualify You for Disability

You may be able to get approved for disability if you suffer from frequent migraine headaches. However, you must be able to provide documentation that your migraines are so severe that they interfere with your ability to work. The key to getting approved for disability is to provide proper documentation that supports your claim.

Special Situations

Most of the people who are approved for Social Security disability are people who have been working and meet the requirements set by the Social Security Administration. However, there are some cases where a person may get approved for Social Security Disability if one does not meet all of the requirements.

For example, if you are blind, then you can get approved for Social Security Disability even if you do not meet the work requirements. You can also get approved for Social Security Disability if you are a widower or widow of a worker.

How to Apply

You should apply for Social Security Disability as soon as possible. You can fill out the entire application online. You can also visit your local Social Security office. You will have to provide information about yourself and your household. Keep in mind that it can take three to five months for you to hear a response.

Keep in mind that 70 percent of applications are denied. However, you can file an appeal if your application is denied. Many people are able to get approved after filing an appeal.

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