A Look at Social Security Disability Standards

According to a recent news article from Fed Week, the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) has some very strict standards for those who are applying for disability benefits. This includes those who are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and those who are applying for what is known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

denied-300x271The fact that SSA has very strict standards for applicants who submit a claim for benefits is likely not a surprise to anyone who has submitted a claim and had that claim rejected (which is most applicants), this article takes a closer look at what these standards are and what you should do to increase your chances of obtaining a successful disability benefits award.One of the most important things you can do if you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is to speak with an experienced Boston disability attorney. The reason for this is because if you have someone on your side during the entire process, this will allow you to work on taking care of your health issues with peace of mind that someone who knows the system is doing everything within reason to get you the benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.

The first aspect of the disability requirements is to understand that in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must have a physical or mental disability.  While this may seem like common sense, the SSA’s definition of what it means to be disabled is likely very different from your own.  It is also likely to be different from what a doctor would say it means to be disabled.  This is because it is not enough that you can’t work your job, or even any similar job, it is that you cannot not work any job based upon an arcane set of conditions established by Congress nearly 50 years ago.

Not only is this standard of what it means to be disabled stricter than a doctor might say, the SSA standard is also stricter than most other federal agencies.  For example, if you are a wounded veteran and the VA makes a finding that you are 100 percent disabled, it is entirely possible that the SSA will determine you are not disabled.  This also happens when a federal worker is told they are eligible for FERS or CSRS disability benefits, but SSA will not find them disabled when they apply for SSDI benefits. This is not an accident, and SSA makes it very difficult to qualify for benefits as a means of saving money.

Another requirement is that the disability must prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (working) for at least one year.  This is because the SSDI program is by no means a short-term disability benefits program.   It is also important to understand that it does not have be one single condition that qualifies you for disability, as it can be a combination of both physical and mental health conditions.

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Social Security’s Strict Disability Standards, January 8, 2017, FDA Week

More Bog Entries:

Social Security Disability Judges Allegedly Used Racial and Sexual Terms on Claimants’ Applications, July 22, 2016, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog

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