Social Security Disability Benefits paperwork

Chattanooga Social Security Lawyers Explain what Constitutes a Disability

In Blog by Chris RayLeave a Comment

Those who are suffering from chronic health problems may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. In order to obtain these benefits, individuals must meet the definition of “disabled” as determined by the Social Security Administration. The requirements can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with this agency, which is why it can be helpful to seek advice from Chattanooga Social Security lawyers when applying.

The Social Security Administration considers a person to be disabled whenever he or she cannot perform what they deem “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). This basically involves being able to earn $1,040 or more per month from employment. Those who are already making more than this amount are not eligible to apply for benefits.

Making less than the $1,040 per month threshold does not automatically mean one is disabled. The administration will look at a number of factors in order to determine whether an individual is performing SGA. Agents will consider the nature of the work and type of employment (part-time, seasonal, on-call, etc.) when determining if it is indeed substantial gainful activity.

Applicants must also show evidence of a physical and/or mental disability. These records must show not only that a certain condition exists, but also that it affects a person’s ability to hold down a job in some way. The information contained in these medical records should be current; updates within the last 90 days are generally preferred.

Some conditions could be so severe that a patient could automatically be qualified. The agency has an impairment listing of certain conditions that are approved without further medical revue due to the seriousness of their nature. These conditions are listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book”, and contain different sections for adults and children.

Those who do not have a condition listed in the Blue Book will undergo a review by this agency. In determining whether or not someone qualifies, approving officials will look at that person’s previous work history, education and exact physical and mental limitations. In doing so, they will determine if some other type of work could be reasonably performed by that person instead.

Many times, people are approved for disability only after consulting with an attorney to help them file a series of appeals. If you’re considering applying for these benefits, having a disability lawyer on your side can sometimes make the difference between approval and denial. For a consultation about your case, contact us.

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