The Social Security Administration administers Disability Benefits to those who qualify. Who can get benefits? Let’s allow the SSA website to tell us (the information in bold below is quoted from the Social Security Website starting HERE):

We pay disability benefits under two programs:

  • The Social Security disability insurance program pays benefits to you and certain family members if you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

Your adult child also may qualify for benefits on your earnings record if he or she has a disability that started before age 22.

  • The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.

How do you apply?

Apply as soon as you become disabled. Most of the application forms can be completed online, depending on the type of benefit for which you apply:

How to Qualify:

To decide whether you are disabled, we use a step-by-step process involving five questions. They are:

Are you working?

  1. If you are working in 2010 and your earnings average more than $1,000 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled. If you are not working, we go to Step 2.
  2. Is your condition “severe”? – Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. If it does not, we will find that you are not disabled. If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
  3. 3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? – For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically mean that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4. Note: We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:
  4. Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and pancreatic cancer.
  5. Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance

For more information about changes to our disability claims process, visit ourDisability Service Improvement website.

Can you do the work you did previously?

If your condition is severe but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then we must determine if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, we proceed to Step 5.

Additional information about Step 4.

Can you do any other type of work?

If you cannot do the work you did in the past, we see if you are able to adjust to other work. We consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved. If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.

Additional information about Step 5.

A word from Chris Grande

Bottom line folks – if you think you qualify give it a shot. We have worked with clients who qualify. Of course we have heard the stories that it is so difficult to qualify – who knows? Perhaps the people who complain are the people who’d like to stiff the system? If one has a doctor’s determination that they are disabled and should not work, then it’s worth a shot.

If you’d like more local advice, feel free to call our office – 781-393-0021 or send us a Quick Contact. We have a team of professionals that can help with your situation.

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