What Qualifies As A Disability?
If you were badly injured or suffer from a serious medical or mental condition that keeps you from working or returning to work, you may believe that you should qualify for the Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits you need. Unfortunately, the Social Security system is very complicated, with many bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Oftentimes, you have go to court and prove you are disabled in front of a Social Security judge.
However, knowing what to expect ― and having an experienced SSD attorney by your side ― can greatly improve your chances of qualifying for disability benefits.
Defining And Evaluating A Disability: The Five-Part Process
There are many classifications of disabilities: occupational, total, partial, temporary and permanent. However, it is important to remember that not every injury or medical condition is covered under Social Security.
For instance, in order to determine whether or not you qualify for SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) typically uses a five-part decision-making process:
- Employment status: You must be able to show that either you are not working or you are working and making less than a certain amount.
- The severity of your medical condition: You must be able to document the fact that your disability will substantially limit your ability to work for over one year.
- Listed on the SSA impairment listings: Your condition must either be included on the list of impairments that the SSA considers as a qualifying disability, or you must demonstrate that your condition is equally severe to a condition on that list.
- Ability to work and work history: Your disability must prevent you from returning to your previous employment and resuming your former job duties.
- Other available work: Your disability must prevent you from engaging in any other type of work that is suitable based upon your age, education, skills and work experience.
It is extremely important to choose a lawyer who understands the rules and regulations related to Social Security benefits, regardless of whether you are applying for SSD benefits or Supplemental Security Income. One of the most common mistakes in applying for Social Security is failing to obtain the necessary medical documentation of the disability and failing to show how it affects the ability to work. We know how to work with doctors and specialists to build a strong case for your benefits.
Don’t Get Tangled Up In Red Tape ― Contact Us Today
At Wood and Carlton, P.C., we have helped thousands of disabled people get the benefits they deserve and need. From initial filing, to the appeal of a denied claim, our attorneys and staff offer sound guidance, experienced representation and compassionate support.
Your initial consultation will be FREE, and we charge no upfront legal costs or fees. You are not required to pay unless we obtain the benefits you seek. Call us at 662-841-2003 or toll free at 662-643-4341 to get the help you need. You can even email us if that is easier for you. With offices in Corinth, Pontotoc and Tupelo, we help disabled workers throughout northern Mississippi and western Tennessee.