A Dunn disability attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. If you have been diagnosed with a severe medical condition that prevents you from working, you may qualify for benefits; however, other requirements must be met as well.
What does disability mean?
Disability can mean different things, depending on the program. With Social Security, you can only receive benefits if you are permanently and totally disabled. That means if your disability is expected to be short-term or is only considered a partial disability, you may not qualify.
You must also be able to provide evidence demonstrating that your disability has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 consecutive months, or the condition is expected to result in death. In addition, you must have earned enough work credits to qualify. This is based on the length of time you have worked and whether you have worked recently.
The amount required to earn work credits may change from one year to the next. For the year 2012, one credit is awarded for every $1,130 of income earned; you may earn up to four credits per year. The number of credits required depends on how old you are at the time you become disabled.
How does Social Security determine if an individual is disabled?
The process of determining disability generally requires the following five steps:
- Work Status – if you earn more than $1,010 per month and are currently working, it is unlikely you will be considered disabled.
- Severity of Condition – your condition must be severe enough that it prevents you from performing basic tasks (sitting, standing, pulling, lifting, etc.).
- Listing of Impairments – your condition must be found in the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments (if not, it must be comparable to one that is listed).
- Previous Work – disability must prevent you from engaging in work you have done previously.
- Other Work – taking into consideration factors such as age, skills, education, experience and past work experience, your situation will be evaluated to determine whether you could adjust to a new type of work.
Meeting all of the requirements may prove difficult. This is why adequate evidence supporting a claim of disability if required.
Are there other ways an individual may qualify for Social Security disability?
There are other circumstances that may qualify an individual for disability benefits if they don’t meet the other criteria. For instance, if you have low vision or are blind, you may be eligible.
Disability benefits may also be available if you are a wounded warrior, the widow or widower of a worker or a disabled child. Each situation would need to be evaluated.
Contacting a Dunn Disability Attorney
As most initial claims for Social Security disability are denied, you may wish to secure legal help immediately. An attorney who understands the claims process can offer advice regarding what you can do to improve your chance of a favorable outcome.
By seeking legal counsel you could also prevent unnecessary delays. This is important because the claims process tends to be lengthy. To better understand the requirements and learn if you are eligible, contact a Dunn disability attorney. A lawyer can also help make sure your paperwork is correctly filled out, submitted on time and that you have all of the documentation necessary.
Contact Brent Adams & Associates today to schedule your FREE consultation. We can help you determine if you qualify for Social Security disability or what legal options may be available if your claim was denied. Call us at 800-849-5931.