You or a loved one may have a debilitating condition that affects your mental and/or physical health, and like many, you may be wondering if you are eligible for disability benefits.
But how do you know if your medical condition is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA)?
The answer can be a little complicated. But we are here to help break it down and explain why partnering with a skilled disability attorney from the beginning can help you navigate the entire process.
The SSA’s Definition of Disability
First and foremost, it’s important to know that the SSA’s definition of disability is strict, and requires multiple factors. In order to be considered disabled:
- Your condition must be expected to last at least a year, or is terminal.
- You must not be able to complete the work you did before.
- You cannot adjust to other types of work due to the limitations of your condition.
The SSA’s Listing of Impairments
If you have answered yes to all of these questions, generally, the next step is to see if your condition meets or equals a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book, which is also called the Listing of Impairments.
There you will find a number of listings of conditions, in 14 different categories, ranging from the musculoskeletal system, respiratory disorders, cancer, mental disorders and more.
But, what happens if you do not see your condition listed? If your condition does not meet a listing, but you have symptoms similar to a listed condition, you may still be able to prove your disability.
Work History and Income Play a Role in Determining Eligibility
In addition to ensuring your condition meets the SSA’s requirements for a disability, there are other non-medical factors that will need to be evaluated, including work history and income.
As Social Security Disability is funded by FICA taxes that employees pay, the SSA has rules regarding how many work credits a person needs to earn be eligible. A person can earn up to 4 work credits in a year.
To show how this works, in general, if you become disabled before the age of 24 you will need 6 credits, or 1.5 years of work. If you became disabled at 50, you will need 28 work credits, or 7 years of work. However, this does not cover all situations and is only a guideline.
If you meet the work requirements, but you are currently working, you must not earn more than $1,220 a month to be considered disabled.
Turn to an Experienced Disability Lawyer
Navigating through the Social Security Disability process can be overwhelming and confusing. As you can see, determining eligibility can be complicated. Although the questions presented above help to determine disability, this is a general overview, and there are exceptions to the rules.
An experienced SSD attorney thoroughly knows the disability law and the SSD process, and can guide you through the entire process, and help determine if you should apply.
A skilled SSD lawyer can help you with the application process, ensuring all necessary information and paperwork is filled out correctly to help avoid errors.
In addition, an experienced SSD lawyer understands what you are going through, and can provide the compassionate support you need during this difficult time. You don’t have to go through it alone.
We Can Help
If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.
Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability Benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental, or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.
Let Michigan’s experienced Social Security Disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.
Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.