Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits?

Do I qualify for social security disability benefits under the social security disability programs? The short answer is, Maybe. That’s not really an answer, we understand, but it is not a yes/no answer. In fact, first, your need to meet the first 5 qualifications, in order, to see if you should even apply for benefits.

  1. Are you currently working and earning less than $1,130 (as of 2016)? Yes? You meet the income threshold and may qualify for SSDI benefits.
  2. Is your medical condition severe enough to limit your ability to do simple work-related activities such as walking, sitting, standing, grabbing, reaching, stooping, bending, concentrating, interacting with coworkers, etc? Yes? Keep going.
  3. Does your medical condition match any of the conditions on the SSA List of Impairments, or is it as severe or “equal” to one of the listed impairments? Yes? Go to the next question. If No, well, that doesn’t mean you won’t qualify but your case may be harder to win and require more support than normal.
  4. Does your medical condition prevent you from doing what you had performed in your work over the past 15 years? Yes? One more question.
  5. Does your medical condition prevent you from doing any other type of work? If so, then you can file your application and may have a solid chance of receiving benefits.

Qualifying for social security disability benefits may sound like a no-win situation; lots of hoops to jump through, with difficult criteria to meet. That is all true, however it isn’t as dire as it may sound. While it is difficult, if you meet the initial conditions above, the rest is mostly about preparing your case with enough support, and knowing how to work with the system to place the odds in your favor.

Pinnacle Disability has been helping people win their social security disability benefits for decades and we can help you as well. Call us at 1-888-983-3890 for a free evaluation or simply complete and submit the form here.

Our team of disability attorneys know how the system works and we speak the language of the SSA to prepare and position your case to have the best chance of being awarded the benefits you deserve. There is no obligation if you call. If you hire us, there are no up-front costs, and we don’t get paid until we win your claim. Call now. 1-800-593-7491

Full-Time Students

Unfortunately if you are taking more than 9 credits at school, the fact that you are a student may mean that you are not eligible for disability benefits.

Pursuing a college degree generally means that a person would like to use that degree towards a future career. Disability is usually awarded to those who have severe conditions that stop them from working now or in the future.

The ability to attend physical classes, to fulfill assignments, and to withstand general tasks of college can indicate a lack of disability. Examples such as standing in line for advising, adhering to a daily schedule, and carrying books to name a few. Conditions that qualify for Social Security Disability must interfere with your ability to complete normal daily activities, and would make you unable to function as a full-time student.

By attending school on a full-time basis, the Social Security Administration would likely question if you are able to work a job in any capacity such as part-time or perhaps sitting at a desk.

With that said, there is a chance that a student could be approved if they have proof of ongoing medical treatments, special assistance for daily tasks, or declining abilities. The SSA also considers the toll of a physical disability on your mental health and emotional ability to hold employment.

Not Receiving Medical Treatment

Applying for disability benefits indicates that you have a severe medical condition that prevents you from being able to work. In order to prove this to the Social Security Administration you will need to have strong medical evidence of diagnosis and treatment from qualified physicians.

After applying, the Disability Determination Service (DDS) will ask for your recent medical records. Activity from the past 3 years will be considered for your case. If a determination cannot be made from the records you provide you will need to have a Consultative Examination from a doctor hired by the Social Security Administration.

This will be a short exam with a doctor who is not familiar with your case. Your own physician will be much more knowledgeable about your ailments and better able to make a recommendation towards your working abilities. This means it is vitally important that you provide your own records if you are able.

If you have hired a Disability Attorney or Advocate, they may also be able to collect statements from employers and relatives that speak to your physical limitations.

There may be acceptable reasons that you are not be able to provide your own records. They include;

  • Lack of medical insurance
  • Lack of financial resources

When determining your eligibility, the SSA will take into consideration the fact that you may not have received medical treatment because you don’t have insurance.

Also noted is any financial restraints you may face such as not being able to afford doctor’s visits, medications, or lack of transportation. However, there must be reasons given as to why you are not eligible for Medicaid, insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), why you have not gone to any low-cost clinics, or tried to apply for payment plans.

Those suffering from a legitimately disabling condition will seek to be medically treated barring extreme circumstances.