Social Security relies on both medical disability criteria and non-medical criteria to determine whether you qualify for Social Security Disability or Supplement Security Income (SSI). To be considered a disabled person under for Social Security’s standards, you must be unable to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). This means working and earning income above a certain amount. This year, the threshold amount is $1,090 per month.
To qualify for disability benefits, an applicant must have medical evidence in his or her medical records that illustrate that the person has physical or mental impairments that are so severe that it prevents the applicant from working. If a person’s conditions and/or impairments are severe enough, he/she may meet a specialized Social Security listing that automatically qualifies him/her for benefits. If not, Social Security will review a person’s “residual functional capacity” to determine if there are any jobs in the national economy that the applicant could perform with his/her limitations. Social Security will also review the applicant’s past work and education to determine what specialized skill or training the applicant has. Based on these factors, Social Security will determine whether the applicant is able to perform substantial gainful activity.
This process is complicated and statistics have proven convincingly that applicants have a much better chance at disability benefits if they are represented by an attorney. Please contact our office today if you are interested in applying for benefits and we will be happy to help you with the process.