How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability?
You must meet three basic criteria to qualify for receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits:
- Be eligible for Social Security payments of any kind
- Suffer from a condition that has left you unable to work for a year or more or a condition that will prove fatal in the near future
- Present extensive medical evidence for your disability
Applying for SSDI also requires filing reams of paperwork with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and having your application exhaustively reviewed by staff at the Ohio Disability Determination Services office (each state has its own).
Cleveland SSDI attorneys with Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman have helped many Ohio residents navigate the federal long-term disability process. Each case has encountered different obstacles while also teaching valuable lessons about how to collect and present evidence in ways that increase our clients’ chances of securing the SSDI benefits they require to live as well as possible.
We would need to schedule a free consultation with you to learn how we could be of the most service. Here, we summarize just the most important things you must understand when considering whether you or a disabled dependent could qualify for Social Security Disability.
Social Security Eligibility Basics
Most U.S. workers participate in Social Security by having contributions to the federal retirement and disability program with held from their paychecks. A person’s Social Security benefits can also be conferred on his or her children, spouses, and other adults under their care such as elderly parents.
Significant numbers of Americans are not eligible for Social Security benefits, though. Teachers and government employees who earn state pensions may go entire careers without contributing to Social Security. Also, permanent U.S. residents who pay all their taxes to the countries where they retain citizenship do not earn Social Security benefits. People who live in U.S. territories also do not automatically qualify for Social Security, regardless of their tax situations.
If you are not sure if you have paid into Social Security, a knowledgeable Ohio disability lawyer will be able to assist you with figuring out if receiving SSDI benefits is a possibility. An attorney could also walk you through alternatives to SSDI, including workers’ compensation and private disability insurance.
Do You Suffer an SSDI Qualifying Condition?
Blind U.S. citizens almost always qualify to receive SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration also maintains official lists of conditions that it recognizes as permanently disabling and/or life-threatening for adults and children. You can review each by clicking here and here. The biggest difference is that the list of qualifying conditions for individuals under the age of 18 includes problems related to low birth weight and failure to thrive.
Your doctor can help you make sense of the lists. Communication between your health care team, you, and an experienced Cleveland SSDI attorney can clarify the applicability of a listed condition to your own situation.
Unassailable Medical Evidence Required
SSDI case reviewers pore over all the medical records submitted by each applicant. They will also speak with as many doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and therapists they believe necessary to confirm or discredit a finding of permanent disability. Case reviewers may even ask for additional evidence from health care providers. Additional medical evidence will definitely be needed to support an appeal of a denial of benefits.
A dedicated Cleveland, Ohio, SSDI attorney can help you compile all the required medical records and also put you in touch with skilled medical professionals who can care for you. Further, because your current work status, your work history, and your ability to continue earning as much money as you did previously at a different job will be considered, a lawyer who handles Social Security disability cases can assist you with collecting and presenting employment and employability evidence.
More Answers Are Available
In the likely event that this brief overview of how to qualify for Social Security disability benefits left you with even more questions, contact the Cleveland offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman today. You can call (800) 68-3318 or sketch out your challenges online.
As the SSA explains many times on its SSDI website, “You have the right to representation by an attorney or other qualified person of your choice when you do business with Social Security.” Do not miss your opportunity to exercise that right and raise your likelihood of receiving disability benefits.