There are a lot of injuries and illnesses that could be labeled as “debilitating”, however, just because an injury is, doesn’t mean it qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. Even if an injury or illness is not disabling right away, the person can still qualify for disability benefits even if it develops later.
Social Security Disability is offered as a government program; therefore, there are strict rules and qualifying procedures. In order to qualify, you must prove that:
• You have a mental or physical disability;
• The disability prevents you from doing work or any gainful employment;
• The disability will last or has lasted for at least one year or will result in death.
These guidelines were developed by the SSD, but can be interpreted on a case by case basis. So, even if you have a disability that has lasted over a year, you could be denied benefits. You must also prove all three factors, which can be more complicated than simply providing a doctor’s note.
Gainful Work: A Commonly Misunderstood Requirement
The substantial and gainful work requirement is very restrictive. For example, you were a vet tech for 30 of your 45 years of life. But, you injured your back and your physician has said that injury will last for a long time. You are now missing so much work that you can no longer work as a vet technician. But, do you have the capability to earn income another way? If you cannot lift or stand, can you still work while sitting? If so, you are likely to be denied SSD benefits.
However, if your age, education, and skills exclude you from any applicable desk jobs, then you may be approved.
How SSD Approves or Denies
In order for the SSD to decide whether or not you qualify, they go through a step-by-step process, which includes:
• Determining if you are working now and if your average earnings are higher than the base amount set by SSD.
• The severity of your condition, and if it truly impacts your ability to thrive.
• If your disability qualifies under the SSD.
• If you can do other types of work.
• If you can continue working in your current career field.
Read more about what to do after an SSD denial.
So What Injuries Qualify for SSD?
There are a lot of injuries that can qualify for SSD, but they are categorized by:
• Respiratory System Disorders
• Cardiovascular Disorders
• Musculoskeletal Injuries
• Injuries to Speech or Other Senses
• Skin Disorders
• Endocrine Disorders
• Hematological Disorders
• Neurological Disorders
• Immune System Disorders
• Mental Disorders
• Neoplastic Diseases
• Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Systems within the Body
• Genitourinary Disorders
Need SSD? Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney
If you are injured or think you qualify for SSD, then you need an attorney. The application process is highly complicated and even if you qualify, you could be denied much-needed benefits. Contact the West Palm Beach social security disability lawyers at Fetterman & Associates, PA today. We offer free case evaluations and can assist you with your SSD claims.