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Determining Eligibility for Social Security Disability: Do You Qualify?

SSD Claim Injured HandIf you’ve ever wondered how the Social Security Administration (SSA) decides who is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD), you’re not alone. The process of filing for SSD is often long and tedious, and the outcome of your claim is (at best) a murky conglomeration of endless possibilities.

To help guide you through the process and to help bring clarity to your confusion, we’ve compiled a list of five questions the SSA will ask you while they work to determine your SDD eligibility.

SSA Disability Determination Questions

1. Are you working? If you are currently working, or if you’ve worked at any time during the past year, and if your monthly earnings equal $1,091 or more, you are generally not considered disabled and will not qualify for benefits. However, if you haven’t been working, the SSA will proceed to the next question.

2. Is your disability “severe”? Many medical conditions can adversely affect your quality of life, but in order to be eligible for SSD benefits, your medical condition must interfere with your ability to perform basic, work-related tasks. Although your medical condition may be distressing, if it doesn’t permanently prevent you from completing rudimentary work activities, your SSD claim will likely be denied.

3. Is your disability on the SSA’s Disabling Conditions list? The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are considered severe enough to automatically qualify an afflicted person for SSD benefits. This list includes several medical conditions such as malignant (cancerous) diseases, immune system disorders, and mental disorders. For a complete list of these disorders, visit the SSA’s List of Impairments page. However, it’s important to note this list is not exhaustive and you may still qualify for benefits if your medical condition is not found on this list.

4. Can you perform the work you did before your disability? If your medical impairment is severe, but not severe enough to be listed on the SSA’s Disabling Conditions list, the SSA will assess whether or not your disability interferes with your ability to do the work you did before becoming disabled. If your condition affects your ability to perform the work you did previously, the SSA will ask the next question.

5. Can you perform any type of work? If you’re unable to do the work you did before becoming disabled, the SSA will want to determine if you are capable of doing any other type of work. Your disability may be severe enough to keep you from working at a physically demanding or mentally taxing job, but you may be able to work in a less stressful work environment.

When filing an SSD claim, it’s important to remember your disability must meet all of the SSA’s medical criteria, as well as prevent you from doing your past work or adjusting to another type of work.

For further assistance with SSD benefit eligibility, or for any other SSD related questions, please contact the knowledgeable Social Security Disability lawyers at Schmidt Kramer today. 

Call  (717) 888-8888 or fill out our FREE Case Evaluation Form