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Do you Qualify

For SSDI Benefits?

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Am I Disabled According to Social Security’s Definition ?

To receive disability benefits under the Social Security Act we must be able to prove that a Claimant is unable to perform any type of substantial, gainful work for a period that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months. The purpose of the Social Security disability program is to provide benefits for people who are suffering from long term medical problems that make it impossible for them to perform any type of full-time work activity.

The focus is on the symptoms, and how those symptoms impact upon day to day functioning. The focus is not diagnosis. Except for rare cases called “Compassionate Allowances,” these benefits are not based upon diagnoses Many people have worked for years with their medical problems before they have had to stop.

When people call our law office they often ask about benefits because they have “X” diagnosis or “Y” condition. That is not going to be the issue. The issue will be whether the evidence proves that they are suffering from symptoms which so impact on their day to day functioning that you could not perform any type of full time work activity for at least 12 months.

The most common misperception of this law is that the focus is on whether someone “could do their job.” For most Claimants, whether they can do their old work is only part of the issue. Once we can prove that, we must go one step further and prove that they cannot perform other work available in the national economy. Social Security will not consider whether job openings are available, or whether they would be hired for a job or whether other work would provide a wage that fits their life style. This law is all about the evidence of symptoms and whether they make it impossible “to do” any type of work activity.

Age is considered. Between 18 and 50 this is the test. If someone is between 50 and 55 years old and does not even have a GED education, or is illiterate the law recognizes that learning new job functions may be challenging and there is consideration of age. Between 55 and 60 the law provides that if you cannot perform your old work, and you do not have transferable skills, benefits may be awarded. Claimants between 60 and 65 need to prove that they cannot do their old work, and that they do not have skills that are highly transferable to other types of work – if that can be proven benefits can be awarded.

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