Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability

Legal Article

Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability

Understanding if you are eligible for Social Security disability can be confusing and time-consuming. Not only do you have to find your mental or physical injury—or there equivalent—from a list of qualifying injuries. However, you must also have worked for a period of time and meet an extensive list of other qualifications to be potentially eligible to receive these financial benefits. In addition to this list of characteristics, you must also submit documentation that supports these claims.

How Do You Qualify for Social Security

The very first characteristic necessary to qualify for Social Security is that you must have had a job that is covered by Social Security. Furthermore, you must also have worked long enough and recently enough to receive these benefits. The Social Security Administration bases your initial eligibility on the number of work credits you have and the number of work credits you have received during the past ten years. The number of work credits that you acquire is based upon your total yearly wages. Furthermore, you can receive up to four work credits each year.

The amount of income you must earn to receive a work credit changes from year to year depending on inflation and other variables. Currently, you must make $1,410 to earn one work credit. Thus, to earn your maximum number of work credits, you must earn $5,640 over the course of the calendar year. The number of work credits that you must have in order to receive Social Security benefits depends on the age that you become disabled. However, in most cases, you need 40 work credits to receive financial assistance, 20 of which you must have received during the 10 years prior to your disability. Though this is the normal requirement, if you suffer from a disability at a young age, you may be able to receive benefits even if you have fewer than 40 work credits.  

Below are the five characteristics that you must prove in order to receive financial assistance from the Social Security Administration.

Have You Continued to Work After Your Injury

After you sustain an injury, you can continue to work and still receive Social Security disability. However, if you worked during the calendar year when you were injured and averaged more than $1,000 a month in earnings, the Social Security Administration will typically not consider you to be disabled. With over 20 years of experience, Antonoplos & Associates will be able to consider your yearly earnings and determine if your current level of income will disqualify you from receiving benefits.

How Severe is Your Condition

For the Social Security Administration to consider you to have a disability, your physical or mental condition must interfere with the tasks that your previous job requires. To prove the severity of your disability, you must ensure that you provide proper documentation. Furthermore, in certain scenarios, you may need to have a medical and field specific expert testify on your behalf. Our group of Social Security lawyers will help you create documents, collect evidence, and work with your doctors to prove the severity of your condition.

Is Your Health Problem Found on The List of Medical Conditions That Qualify?

If your health issue is on the Social Security’s list, it will be likely for you to qualify for benefits if your condition is severe enough. However, even if your condition is not on the list, you may still be able to receive benefits. If this is the case, you must show that your condition has an equivalent that is on the list. No matter the situation, you must have substantial medical records to prove that your medical condition is real. Below is a list of the most common conditions on the Social Security disability list.

  • Back injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Senses and speech issues
  • Medical disorders
  • Digestive tract problems
  • Hematological disorders
  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • Heart failure or coronary artery disease
  • Certain mental disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Various skin disorders
  • Cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders
  • Liver disease
  • Certain syndromes

Again, this is not an exhaustive list, rather, it simply details to most common disabilities.

Can You Do The Work You Did Previously?

The Social Security Administration takes the documentation you provide to decide if you can work how you previously did. However, if the Social Security Administration initially denies your claim, we will help you find and prepare expert testimony to support your claim that you cannot return to work. This testimony is typically enough evidence to prove your claim. However, our group of Social Security disability attorneys will help you gather any additional evidence that your case requires.

Can You Do Any Other Type of Work?

If the Social Security Administration decides, either through the initial claim or trial, that you cannot perform the work that you previously did, they will look to see if you could gain meaningful employment in another field despite your impairments. Furthermore, they will consider a few more characteristics. These include physical or mental conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills that you may have. If the Social Security Administration believes that you can perform meaningful work in another field, they will not label you disabled, thus, denying your claim. However, if they decide that you cannot do other meaningful work, they will state that you do have a disability. Thus, allowing you to receive financial assistance.

Final Thoughts

The most important reason to hire a social security disability attorney is that with their assistance, your chances of receiving benefits significantly increase. It’s certainly true that some people who apply on their own are approved for benefits. However, statistics show that the SSA is more likely to approve applicants represented by legal counsel than one who isn’t.

From the initial documentation and application process to the hearing level and beyond, disability attorneys understand how to properly present a case in a way that is most favorable to their clients. Additionally, on the initial application, a social security disability lawyer can offer advice on your “alleged onset date” of disability. Furthermore, they will also be able to show that your condition meets one of the listed impairments in the “blue book.” At the appellate levels, your social security lawyer can collect and submit relevant medical evidence, obtain an opinion from your doctor, create a brief that will go to the ALJ, and prepare you for the types of questions that an ALJ will ask you at your appellate hearing.

Contact Our Law Office for More Information

For more information on who is eligible for Social Security disability, contact Antonoplos & Associates at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.