Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is funded through payroll taxes that are controlled by the Social Security Administration. The intent of the program is to supplement the income of people who are unable to work because of physical or mental restrictions that result from a notable disability. Here are four things you should know before you submit your application for SSDI.
A Medically Determinable Impairment
A medical specialist, and preferably one who is board certified in diagnosing and treating the impairment that you claim, is required to provide a written diagnosis of your disability. Any and all supporting documentation in the form of radiology reports, laboratory testing or surgical reports must accompany your application. Your medical condition must be severe. SSDI isn’t going to consider you disabled on the basis of you saying that your back hurts.
The Severity of Your Condition
The general rule is that your claimed disability must be on the official listing of impairments. For each body system, it describes the impairments that are considered severe enough to prevent a person over the age of 18 from performing any gainful employment. Your condition must be on that list, and it must also meet the government’s medical criteria for the condition that you’re going to claim. If it isn’t listed, be prepared for a stricter test involving your residual functional capacity.
Having a Complete Application with Supporting Documentation on File
According to the social security benefits attorneys at Snow, Carpio and Weekley, the majority of initial applications for Social Security disability are denied. This ordinarily occurs because of incomplete applications or insufficient supporting records. Odds of approval increase significantly when all requirements are complied with before submitting an application package.
Inability to Do Other Work
You’re required to show that you’re unable to perform a different job that’s unrelated to your employment. Be prepared to counter any evidence that tends to point to that. If nobody in your line of work is hiring, it doesn’t really matter. The Social Security Administration is going to make its determination on a number of factors that include but aren’t limited to:
- Your age and education.
- Your past work experience.
- Training and qualifications to do other work.
- A comparison with others who are similarly situated.
If you believe that you’re unable to work due to a physical or mental disability, contact a qualified Social Security benefits attorney. It’s a highly complex system that you likely don’t want to try alone.
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