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Published On: Mon, Oct 5th, 2015

Help in Hand: You Could Be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

Many people don’t apply for Social Security Disability, yet they qualify for it. So here is some information to help you understand whether you’re eligible and some basic steps to get the ball rolling.

The Basic Process

The basic process includes an application for disability benefits. It starts in a local Social Security Administration field office and state agencies. These offices, called Disability Determination Services, will be your first stop in the claims processing process.

If you are denied benefits, you may appeal here too, and your case will be reviewed by an administrative law judge in the SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication Review.

During the initial, and any subsequent, reviews, the SSA will attempt to determine your eligibility for benefits.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

In general, you must be unable to perform substantial work. Substantial work means earning more than a certain amount. Currently, this means making over $1,090 per month. For self-employed people, there are other tests the Social Security Administration uses to determine if you’re gainfully employed.

Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder than it sounds, and according to specialists like Riddle & Brantley, many misinformed people are denied a benefit claim when they may actually have a disability that would prevent them from working.

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

To qualify for benefits, you must show medical records that contain evidence of a physical or mental impairment. These disabilities must prevent you from working at any job. You must also show that the disability would prevent you from returning to work within the year, and that you’re unable to do any work – even if it’s only part-time.

For a physical impairment, the SSA will decide whether you can do medium, light, or sedentary work by looking at the functional limitations in your medical records. For example, if you’re unable to do physical work for more than 2 hours a day, it must state this in your medical record.

Another example might be a limitation that prevents you from lifting more than 20 pounds.

For psychological disabilities, the SSA will assess whether you can understand and remember instructions, maintain attention, and concentrate on tasks. The SSA will determine whether you can do semi-skilled, or totally unskilled, work.

The Social Security Disability Determination

When a determination is made, a determination of benefits is also made along with the basic eligibility determination.

The Claims Representative

Your claims representative’s job is to review your medical record and determine if you’re eligible for benefits. If you’re not, the SSA will not pay a claim. However, there are several steps in the review process you need to be aware of.
First, there is a preliminary check. This is where the representative checks your eligibility for SSDI or SSI. There is a substantial work test in which you are assessed as to your ability to work at all. A submission to DDS is where you must submit medical records and undergo an evaluation for benefits.

If you have a terminal illness, you may qualify for expedited claim approval.

If Your Claim Is Denied

If your claim is denied, you may appeal, but the process is often long and arduous. Most people hire a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Disability to help them navigate the legal waters of the appeals process.

Guest Author :

Harold Jackson is a veteran of financial planning and enjoys being able to share his thoughts online. His insights can be found on a number of personal finance related websites.

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  1. Appeal Disability Report Social Security | Best GE Home Security says:

    […] Help in Hand: You Could Be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits – It starts in a local Social Security Administration field office and state agencies. These offices, called Disability Determination Services, will be your first stop in the claims processing process. If you are denied benefits, you may appeal here too … […]

  2. Aid To The Blind Social Security | Your GE Home Security says:

    […] Help in Hand: You Could Be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits – Many people don’t apply for Social Security Disability, yet they qualify for it. So here is some information to help you understand whether you’re eligible and some basic steps to get the ball rolling. The Basic … […]

  3. Brook Putnam says:

    Millennials and Generation X’ers, it’s time to opt-out of Social Security! http://takebackyoursixpercent.com

  4. Help in Hand: You Could Be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits - News Aggregator says:

    […] Read more at The Global Dispatch Related News What Will the Cuts in Disability Benefits Mean? The future of Social Security and Medicare does not look very positive at the moment, and the Social Security disability insurance program is looking particularly gloomy when it comes to … READ MORE Benefits Associated With Buying Brother Ink Cartridges There are not many people that are accustomed with technology and do not know about Brother ink cartridges. One of the most popular brands in the ink printer industry is … READ MORE Veterans Affairs’ disability branch — not ‘backroom administration’ — saw biggest job cuts, records show Some of the biggest job cuts at Veterans Affairs in recent years have been in the disability awards branch — the division targeted in a recent auditor general's report for … READ MORE Creating sense of hope goes hand-in-hand with high tech cancer treatment at OKC proton center Michaela Marx WheatleyCancer is a scary diagnosis, but fear is not something that is detectable when you enter ProCure Proton Therapy Center.People chatting over coffee, staff greeting patients on a … READ MORE Paycom eligible for $20.5 million in state Quality Jobs incentives By Don Mecoy Business Editor [email protected] City-based Paycom's plans to add more than 1,000 jobs could earn the company more than $20 million in state Quality Jobs incentives over the … READ MORE 4.6 Million Employees May Be Eligible for Overtime in 2016 The Fair Labor Standard’s Act (FLSA) includes overtime pay protections and a guaranteed minimum wage. The FLSA does have a number of exclusions, including white collar and highly compensated employee … READ MORE De Blasio’s security sergeant ‘must be black’ Mayor de Blasio has an opening on his personal security detail — and the candidate has to be black, The Post has learned. The head of Hizzoner's protection unit —… … READ MORE Security is tight after Cuban dissident confronts pope SANTIAGO, Cuba (AP) — Security was tight Monday for Pope Francis after a dissident got close enough to touch the popemobile a day earlier and at least three other opposition … READ MORE What Will the Cuts in Disability Benefits Mean? Benefits Associated With Buying Brother Ink Cartridges Veterans Affairs’ disability branch — not ‘backroom administration’ Creating sense of hope goes hand-in-hand with high Paycom eligible for $20.5 million in state Quality 4.6 Million Employees May Be Eligible for Overtime De Blasio’s security sergeant ‘must be black’ Security is tight after Cuban dissident confronts pope var hupso_services_c=new Array("twitter","facebook_like","facebook_send","google");var hupso_counters_lang = "en_GB";var hupso_image_folder_url = "";var hupso_url_c="";var hupso_title_c="Help in Hand: You Could Be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits"; […]

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