The Social Security Administration will consider an individual disabled if they are unable to perform any "Substantial Gainful Activity". Substantial Gainful Activity can be defined as any activity that can be done for profit for a specified period of time. A disability can either be a mental or physical limitation. The disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. It is not enough that an individual not be able to perform their current job, they must not be able to hold any type of employment. The Social Security Administration will evaluate an individual’s education, age, and other work experience to determine if they might be able to train for another job. The Social Security Administration does not consider whether or not an individual is able to obtain other employment.
Are You Disabled According To The Social Security Administration?
In order to determine if an individual is disabled the Social Disability Insurance claim is reviewed by the Disability Determination Services office (DDS). The DDS team generally includes a physician, psychologist and other disability specialists. The DDS office will gather information from an individual’s doctors, clinics and medical records. Unfortunately, the process to determine an individual’s disability can take up to 6 months.
In general the Disability Determination Services Office will review several questions to determine an individual’s disability status.
- They will review if an individual is currently employed and the total amount of their earnings
The amount a person can earn per month can vary but as of 2007, if someone was earning more than $900.00 per month they were not considered disabled.
- The DDS office will evaluate the health of the individual including the severity and type of the disability
The Social Security office maintains a list of disabilities that generally qualify for SSI or SSDI. If your disability is on this list it may more readily qualify you for Social Security Disability. If it is not on this list the DDS Office will determine if it is matches another disability on the list in severity.
- The Disability Determination Services Office will decide if an individual is eligible to receive Social Security Disability payout’s
If approved, an individual will begin receiving payments. If an individual is denied there is a reconsideration or appeals process that will include a re-evaluation and potentially a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
If your claim has been denied it is important that you speak with a Social Security Disability Attorney. Statistically, your case has a greater chance for success if you are represented by expert counsel. If you are scheduled for a review in front of a judge you do not want to find out too late that you are unprepared to fully argue your Social Security Disability Case. During the social security disability hearing you will be arguing your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge. There will not be a jury
An attorney who is experienced in social security disability is a great resource to help prepare your social security disability case. Your Disability Lawyer can review your medical history, gather all of your medical data and review your initial Social Security Disability claims process.
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To qualify for SSI you do not have to work or pay money into the system and you do not have to be insured. You will, however, have to prove you have VERY limited income and resources to qualify for SSI benefits.
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