Social Security Disability
Disability is something most people do not like to think about. But the chances that you will become disabled are greater than you realize. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age.
Social Security Disability pays benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law requires this very strict definition of disability. While some programs give money to people with partial disability or short-term disability, Social Security does not.
Applying for Social Security Disability can be confusing. The Social Security Administration uses a five-step process to determine eligibility for Social Security Benefits.
Are you working?
If you are working and your earnings average more than a certain amount each month, you generally will not be considered disabled. The amount changes each year. For the current figure, call Trimble & Grantham, P.C. If you are not working, or your monthly earnings average the current amount or less, the state agency then looks at your medical condition.
Is your medical condition “severe”?
In order to be considered disabled, your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities—such as walking, sitting and remembering—for at least one year. If your medical condition is not that severe, the state agency will not consider you disabled. If your condition is that severe, the state agency goes on to step three.
Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments?
The state agency has a list of impairment that describes medical conditions that are considered so severe that they automatically mean that you are disabled as defined by law. Trimble & Grantham, P.C. can determine if your medical condition meets one of the listed impairments to qualify for disability benefits. If the severity of your medical condition meets or equals that of a listed impairment, the state agency will decide that you are disabled. If it does not, the state agency goes on to step four.
Can you do the work you did before?
At this step, the state agency decides if your medical condition prevents you from being able to do the work you did before. If it does not, the state agency will decide that you are not disabled. If it does, the state agency goes on to step five.
Can you do any other type of work?
If you cannot do the work you did in the past, the state agency looks to see if you would be able to do other work. It evaluates your medical condition, your age, education, past work experience and any skills you may have that could be used to do other work. If you cannot do other work, the state agency will decide that you are disabled. If you can do other work, the state agency will decide that you are not disabled.
To make matters even more confusing, the social security administration uses a five level process to determine disability entitlement. You can be approved or denied at any stage along the process.
We are proud of our high approval rate even at overturning judges’ decisions. At Trimble & Grantham, we will do our due diligence and speak with our clients prior to their court date, discussing their case and explaining the courtroom procedures. Many attorneys never talk to their clients until the day of court, and if they do, they will charge extra for every phone call to or from their clients. Our attorneys value your time and respect your intelligence.
If you are looking for competent, compassionate help with your social security disability claim, call or email us today for more information. We can help.