How To Know if Your Condition Is “Disabling Enough” For SSD
Disability benefits can be the key to leading a quality life for many Americans who have suffered a disability during the course of their employment. Unfortunately, applying for these benefits is not always straightforward. Having your application rejected can be a major setback to your future financial situation. A seasoned disability benefits attorney can evaluate your claim and help you successfully obtain your rightful SSD and other benefits.
Is Your Condition Listed in the Social Security Blue Book?
The Social Security Blue Book is used by the SSA for determining whether a disorder qualifies for benefits. This Blue Book lists all medical criteria and conditions required for evaluating different disorders and impairments. In most cases, if a condition is listed in the Blue Book, it is severe enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. There are hundreds of disorders and disabilities listed in the Blue Book, including:
- Cardiovascular system complications
- Digestive system disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Musculoskeletal system disorders
- Skin disorders
- Respiratory system disorders
- Speech impairments
Involve Your Physician in the Process
If you are unfamiliar with medical terms and procedures, the SSA Blue Book may not give you the answers you require. You should speak with your physician about your diagnosis and whether it is a valid disorder for disability benefits. In any case, you will have to involve your physician in the SSD benefits application or appeals process.
Note that if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, you may still qualify for disability benefits. It is possible that your symptoms qualify for another similar listing in the Blue Book for which benefits are provided.
Speak with an attorney if you are unsure about which physician to approach. Your attorney will walk you through the Blue Book and schedule an appointment with a medical care provider. They will also help you gather sufficient evidence to strengthen your claim.
Factors to Consider While Evaluating Your Disabling Condition
You need to consider the following factors while considering the viability of your medical disability for benefits:
- Are you currently engaged in gainful employment?
SSA uses a set earnings guideline schedule for categorizing a work activity as substantial gainful activity (SGA.) In 2023, you may not be able to qualify for disability benefits if you are earning more than $1,470 per month. This amount is increased to $2,460 per month if you are blind.
- Is your condition labeled as severe?
Your condition should be debilitating enough to prevent you from performing basic work-related activities, such as walking, lifting, sitting, standing, and remembering for a minimum of 12 months.
- Is your condition mentioned in the list of disabling conditions?
There is a list of medical conditions for each major body system that may prevent a person from getting gainful employment. You should consult with an attorney if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book. The SSA uses symptoms as a marker to decide whether a condition is severe enough.
- Can you work in the same capacity as before?
The SSA will decide if your condition prevents you from performing the tasks of your previous job role. They will deny your application if you can still work in the same capacity.
- Can you perform any other type of work?
If you cannot work in the same capacity, the SSA will decide if there is any other type of work you can do. They will also consider your age, education, transferable skills, past work experience, and any other medical conditions. The SSA will award you SSI or SSD benefits if you cannot perform any other work.
Keep Fighting Even If You Were Denied
Most people are denied the initial application. This is even if they have a valid claim for SSDI benefits. You may be able to secure the benefits you deserve during the appeals process with an in-depth review. Fortunately, when you receive an approval, you are qualified to receive back benefits from the time you got disabled initially. Having an attorney on your side can make it easier to navigate this long and arduous process.
Benefits of Hiring a Disability Attorney
Gathering evidence and filing a disability application can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you and your family are coping with the various struggles of your disability. You should consider hiring a disability attorney to get your paperwork in order, communicate with the SSA, and get your application processed.
Your attorney can also be helpful during an appeal hearing. They can present your case in the best light by listing your disabling condition and the struggles you face on a daily basis. Disability attorneys can only request their fee if they are successful in getting their clients the benefits they deserve.
Get a Skilled and Compassionate Disability Benefits Attorney on Your Side
If you are struggling with your SSDI application, the experienced and knowledgeable disability benefits attorneys at Walton Law, LLC can provide you with strong legal representation. Our attorneys have helped several clients get the maximum SSD benefits they deserve. To schedule your free case review with our lawyers today, call us at 251-455-5819 or contact us online.