How Social Security Disability Claims Are Decided

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If you are hurt or sick and cannot work, you may be considering or have already filed a claim for Social Security disability benefits. There are specific steps the Social Security Administration will take when assessing your claim. The agency needs to confirm that your disability is of such a nature that you cannot work. Here are the questions that will be asked.

Are You Currently Working?

The agency will first determine if you are currently working or have been engaged in “substantial gainful activity” since you filed your claim. You can still receive Social Security disability benefits if you are earning other income, but there’s a limit to how much you can make and still get Social Security disability payments. Currently, that amount is $1,130 per month.

How Serious Is Your Disability?

The Social Security Administration may simply review your medical file or may send you to a medical consultant to determine the degree of your disability. If the medical professional or the SSA official finds that your disability does not significantly limit your ability to work, your claim will likely be denied.

Do You Have an Acknowledged Impairment?

The Social Security Administration maintains an official list of impairments that qualify individuals for Social Security disability payments. The claims examiner will compare your medical condition with that list to see if your impairment qualifies you for benefits. It’s not just about whether your impairment appears on the list. The severity of your impairment will also be taken into account.

Can You Perform the Tasks of Your Former Job?

Even if your impairment is not on the list, the examiner may still find that qualify for benefits if it prevents you from performing any job that you’ve had in the past.

Can You Work in Any Capacity?

Even if you cannot perform any prior job, you can still be denied benefits if the Social Security Administration determines that you can be gainfully employed in another position. That job does not have to provide equal pay, require equal skill or be near where you live.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.

We handle all Social Security disability cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

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