While no one wants to consider the possibility of becoming disabled themselves, it’s a worryingly common event. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, studies show that over 25 percent of people 20 years old today will become disabled before they reach the age of 67.
You may be wondering what it takes to ensure you can receive the social security benefits you need in order to support yourself in case of an injury or illness. The Social Security Administration has established a strict definition of what disability means, and has a set of basic requirements you must meet in order to qualify for disability benefits. In order to determine if you qualify as disabled under their definition, the Social Security Administration has a five step process:
- Are you working? The first question they ask is whether or not you are still working. You need to be earning less than a certain amount per month in order to be considered disabled, and that amount changes from year to year. The current amount can be found in the Social Security Administration’s annual Update.
- Does your medical condition count as “severe”? In order to qualify as disabled, your medical condition needs to significantly limit your ability to do simple work-related activities for at least 12 months. Some of those activities include walking, standing, sitting, remembering, and lifting.
- Does your condition meet or equal one of the listed impairments? The Social Security Administration keeps a list, including descriptions, of medical conditions considered severe enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. Even if your condition is severe enough to prevent you from completing substantial gainful ability regardless of education, work experience, or age and isn’t included on the list, the Social Security Administration may still determine that your medical condition meets or equals the severity of a listed impairment.
- Can you continue the type of work you did before the impairment? At this point of the process, the Social Security Administration will determine if your condition prevents you from performing any past work for at least 12 months.
- Can you perform any other type of work? If you are unable to pursue the same work you used to perform, the Social Security Administration will look to see if there are other lines of work you could pursue with your condition. They consider your past work experience, any skills you have, your age, and your education.
The Social Security Administration has a separate set of guidelines and rules for blind people when determining if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, which can be found in their document, If You’re Blind Or Have Low Vision — How We Can Help.
The Social Security Administration denies nearly 70 percent of all claims the first time around. If your claim was denied, there is an appeals process to get your decision reversed. Whether this is the first time you are filing for Social Security Disability Insurance, or if you’re filing an appeal, it’s important to have an experienced New York City Social Security Disability lawyer on your side. At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we are dedicated to fighting for your rights in order to get you the benefits you deserve. Contact us today through our website, or give us a call at (212) 577-9325 to set up a free case evaluation.