The process involved in applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a daunting experience.
After all, some rules and regulations are confusing to most people. However, with the correct information and the proper documentation, you stand a good chance of having your disability benefits claimed approved on the first application.
If you are battling a disabling condition and cannot work for at least the next 12 months, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The SSA operates two programs that assist those who cannot work due to disability conditions. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income. These programs allow qualifying claimants to receive disability benefits monthly.
To be approved for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, there are several rules and requirements that you must meet. The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives and evaluates the financial and medical eligibility of all disability benefits claims and determines whether the application is successful.
However, it is essential to note that even if you are disabled and unable to work, it doesn’t automatically mean that you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI). This article will enlighten you with some critical signs that your claim will be approved for disability benefits.
Signs That Your Disability Claim May Be Approved
Disability claims are received and evaluated by the Social Security Administration. As an applicant, you must submit a claim with overwhelming evidence that you have a disability.
Here is a list of six signs that your disability claim may be approved:
Substantial Evidence Of A Medical Condition
Having sufficient medical evidence is the most important in a disability benefits claim. If your medical evidence proves your disability, it is most likely that your claim will be approved.
To bolster your claim, you should provide the following medical records:
- Description of your treatments
- Diagnostic reports
- Receipts of prescription drugs
- CT scans and X-rays
- A complete record of your medical history
Your Medical Condition Is Listed In The Ssa’s Blue Book
The Social Security Administration has outlined specific requirements for different medical conditions in their Blue Book. If your disability is one of the listed conditions, you may qualify for disability benefits.
These medical conditions include:
- Respiratory conditions such as mucosal fibrosis and asthma
- Conditions to do with sense and speech, including hearing loss and vision impairment
- Cardiovascular conditions, including chronic heart failure
- Musculoskeletal conditions, including back and other bone and joint dysfunctions
- Liver disease
- Blood disorders such as hemophilia and sickle cell disease
- Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis
You Are Unable To Work For At Least 12 Months Or Longer
When your doctor, through medical documentation, has confirmed that you will be unable to work for at least a year because of your disability condition, your claim has a chance of being approved and being eligible for disability benefits.
If your disability condition is likely to hinder you from working for less than 12 months, you will not qualify for disability benefits.
You Meet The Minimum Work Credits
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must have obtained enough work credits during your employment. You will have enough work credits if you have worked for five of the last ten years.
However, these work credits vary individually, depending on age. For example:
- If you are below 24 years, you may qualify for disability benefits if you earned six work credits in the three years ended when your disability began.
- If your age ranges between 24 and 31 years, you may qualify for disability benefits, provided you have worked half the time between 21 years and the time disability began.
- If you are over 31 years old, you need to have earned at least 20 work credits during the ten years before your disability.
Your Income Is Less Than A Certain Amount
According to Social Security Administration, the monthly Substantial Gainful Activity amount in 2021 for non-blind people was $1,310, and for blind individuals, $2,190.
If you have a disability condition and cannot work and meet the SGA amount, you may qualify for disability benefits on a successful application.
An exception to this rule is where you work in a sheltered work environment and receive special accommodations. Evaluation is done on a case-to-case basis to determine whether a particular job qualifies as sheltered work.
You Hired A Social Security Disability Attorney
Where you enlist the services of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney, your chances of a successful claim are much higher.
This is because they will ensure that all your documentation for the disability benefits claim is completed thoroughly and presented in the most decisive manner possible to the Social Security Administration.
Specific Conditions That May Qualify You For Disability Benefits
Specific conditions here mean that SSA recognizes that such conditions meet its set baseline definition of disability. These include an injury or illness preventing you from actively working for at least twelve months or is likely to cause death.
However, you must have very limited financial assets and income. You must have also been paying Social Security taxes and have worked for a certain period.
Here are specific conditions that may qualify you for disability benefits:
According to breastcancer.org, 1 in every eight women in the US is likely to develop breast cancer.
Social Security Administration offers financial benefits for women and men diagnosed with breast cancer who can no longer work due to their condition.
To receive disability benefits for breast cancer, your test results or doctor’s results must show that:
- You have advanced breast cancer that has extended to your skin, chest, or internal mammary nodes.
- Cancer that has spread above or below your collar bone or more than ten nearby nodes.
- A recurrent carcinoma after anticancer therapy.
- Small-cell carcinoma.
If you suffer from heart failure and it prevents you from working and earning a living for at least 12 months, you may qualify for disability benefits.
Your chronic heart failure must force you to undergo prescribed treatment continuously. You must also meet the following to qualify for disability benefits:
- Your chronic heart failure must be evidenced by a systolic failure of the left ventricular part of the heart with an ejection fraction of 30% or less when your heart is stable and not during an acute episode.
- Show that your heart failure causes severe limitations to your ability to work or take care of your daily tasks.
- Show that further tests will pose significant health risks that may result in death.
- Within a year, you have experienced three or more episodes of congestive heart failure that caused fluid retention and required physical intervention.
Organ transplant is a rare and delicate medical procedure, with kidney transplant taking the top spot on the transplant frequency list.
This procedure may result in your body rejecting the donated organ or causing excessive bleeding and life-threatening complications. An organ transplant can limit or even stop your career permanently.
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits cover paying bills for organ transplants on successful application.
Traumatic Brain Injury
About 228,000 patients are treated for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) each year in the U.S. Your claim may be approved if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury and cannot work for at least 12 months.
Traumatic brain injury is not listed in the Blue Book established by the Social Security Administration. However, its claims are considered and evaluated under the ‘other conditions’ criteria, including stroke, seizure disorder, and cerebral trauma.
It is imperative that medical evidence detailing functional restrictions caused by symptoms of TBI over time be presented at the stage of filing for disability benefits.
According to the Social Security website, for you to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you need to have worked for a certain length of time in jobs covered by Social Security and accumulate at least 40 credits. Twenty of these credits must have been earned in the recent ten years before the year you became disabled.
Disability claims to the Social Security Administration are subject to a waiting period of five months after your disability begins before the payments to successful applicants start. However, if you live with a life-threatening illness, you may qualify for the Compassionate Allowance program and receive immediate financial assistance. Your medical condition must be listed in the SSA’s Blue Book.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average benefit for a disabled worker in 2022 is $1,358 per month.
The benefits are based on a person’s average lifetime earning, not on the disability’s severity or household income.