If you suffer from a disability that resulted due to an injury, medical condition, or other circumstances, there’s no doubt that you may be finding many aspects of your life that are now more difficult than before. As a result, you may be considering applying for Social Security disability benefits. However, the process is not an easy one, and many people are initially denied their benefits. To know if you should apply, here are some general criteria applicants are expected to meet.
Not Just Physical Disability
If you believe you may qualify for Social Security disability, remember that these benefits are not limited only to physical disabilities. In fact, many people qualify for these benefits based on psychological or other mentally-related disabilities. Yet, whatever type of disability you may have, the SSA will require you to prove your disability has either kept you from working most of the previous 12 months or rather is expected to prevent you from working for at least the next 12 months.
Unable to Work at Any Job
To gain Social Security disability benefits, the SSA will verify that your disability prevents you from being able to work at any of your previous jobs or any other job available in the national economy. Unfortunately, the SSA will not just take your word for it. Instead, they will examine your previous job descriptions, require you to give reasons why your disability won’t let you perform previous jobs, and possibly even speak to your employer.
Difficulty With Day-to-Day Activities
In addition to being unable to work at any of your previous jobs, you will also likely need to show the SSA that your condition results in you having greater difficulty with many of your daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, and cleaning, and being able to engage in social activities. To do so, you will need to have yourself examined by a doctor, who will then write a letter to the SSA informing them of their findings.
You Are a Legal U.S. Citizen
Finally, most SSA disability benefits are awarded only to those individuals who are legal U.S. citizens. Therefore, always make sure you have proper documentation to prove this, especially if you and your Social Security disability attorney believe there could be a problem in this part of your application process.
In conclusion, applying for SSA disability benefits can be complex, time-consuming, and at times, it can be a frustrating process. Having the proper legal representation and taking care of all necessary details will go far in helping you receive the benefits you need and deserve.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.