Eligibility For Social Security Disability Benefits

Posted on: 7 April 2021

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has devised a five-step process to determine whether a Social Security Disability application is approved. However, most people are unaware of the review process, leading to unsuccessful applications. Applicants who intend to enroll in the system should hire Social Security Disability lawyers to guide them through the review process. Some of the conditions are as follows.

Employment Status

The first step is to consider if a person earns more than the statutory minimum wage per month. If so, the SSA will not consider them disabled. If one earns less than the statutory minimum, the SSA will allow the application to proceed to the second step, involving the applicant's health status. 

Applicant's Health Condition

The second step entails considering the severity of an applicant's health condition. For the SSA to declare the applicant "disabled," the medical condition must prevent the applicant from performing basic job functions for at least one year. Once the requirement is ascertained, the SSA will proceed to step three. Applicants should hire Social Security Disability lawyers to coordinate with their doctors and advise them on the possibility of passing the second step.

SSA Disabling Conditions List

During the third step, SSA determines whether the applicant's medical conditions are listed on the SSA's disabling conditions registry. When an applicant's medical condition does not appear on the list of conditions that specifically qualify for disability, the SSA will consider whether it is as serious as others on the list. Applicants should consider hiring Social Security Disability lawyers to make a convincing case for them, especially when their disabling conditions are not in the predetermined SSA list.  If the case does not fit into one of the categories, the SSA will proceed to step four. Some of the SSA's disabling conditions are as follows.

  • HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and immune system disorders like multiple sclerosis.
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), lung transplants, asthma, and other related respiratory illnesses.
  • Mental disorders like autism, bipolar disorders, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and other related illnesses.
  • Skin injuries and disorders, including psoriasis and burns.
  • Musculoskeletal system problems, including spine and back conditions, fractures, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, and amputations.

Capability to do the Previous Job

During the fourth step, SSA evaluates the applicant's capability of performing their previous job. Depending on their injury, the organization will investigate the applicant's argument to determine if they can do their work before the accident. If they are unable to do so, the SSA will move on to the fifth step.

Any Other Work

The fifth step entails considering if the applicant is capable of doing any other work. The SSA considers the applicant's age, prior job experience, education background, medical conditions, and skills to determine whether they can have gainful employment in a different capacity. If the applicant is physically incapable of performing other jobs, the SSA may declare him or her "disabled." Social Security Disability lawyers are integral to protecting applicants' interests during the fifth step.

Job Eligibility Tests

In addition to the above disability criteria, applicants must pass two tests: a length of work test and a recent work test to be eligible for benefits. Applicants may be required to make a strong case to convince the SSA about their disability. Applicants may rely on their Social Security Disability lawyers' guidance to navigate the process.

To learn more, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer.


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