filing for disability

Filing for Disability

Filing for disability is one of the scenarios we all would like to avoid, but sometimes, it becomes the most rational thing to do under certain circumstances,  if not the only option we have.  The process of filing a disability claim with the Social Security Administration can be long and tedious, and this is why it is ideal to begin it as soon as you can.  The longer you stall, the less benefits you get, mainly because your date of filing is bound to affect how much payout you will be receiving once your application is approved.

The reality, however, is not all people filing for disability will actually get the benefits they’re rooting for.  Issues such as your work history, the extent of your disability, your age and many others will factor in on whether or not you are eligible when you file a disability claim with the Social Security Administration.  Another thing you should realize is, over 50% of those filing for disability are turned down because of non-eligibility. If you want to save yourself the trouble of going through a claims process and not getting anything from it, assess yourself honestly prior to lodging an application.

Filing for Disability–Self Assessment #1: Are You Working Now?

First, are you currently working?  The Social Security Administration sets a specific amount that your current earnings should not exceed for you to qualify for benefits.  This amount changes every year.  If you’re unemployed when filing for disability, the more  you qualify at this phase of the screening process.

Filing for Disability–Self Assessment #2: Is Your Medical Condition Bad Enough to Satisfy the Social Security Administration?

Second, how bad is your medical condition?  If it significantly reduces your ability to perform activities of daily living such as walking, taking a bath, or shopping for groceries for, at least, a year, then you are a good candidate for disability benefits and stand a better chance of success with your disability claim.

Filing for Disability–Self Assessment #3: Is Your Disability Claim Covered Under the SSA’s Guidelines?

Third, does your medical condition fall under the SSA’s List of Disabilities?  There are many forms of disabilities, but not all of them will be considered disabling enough by law.  However, if your condition is not explicitly included in the list, but equals any listed condition in terms of severity, then you may be considered for benefits.

Fourth, can you still perform your duties in the job you held prior to your medical condition?  If yes, you will not be considered for benefits. But if the Social Security Administration is convinced that your present state will no longer make you capable of holding the same type of job, it will assess you for the next and final criterion.

Fifth, are you capable of holding a new type of job?  The SSA will be evaluating your capacity to hold other jobs by considering many factors, such as your medical condition, educational background, skills and even your age when you’re filing for disability.  When they determine that your condition has rendered you completely incapable of any type of work, then you are qualified for benefits and you can expect a letter informing you that you application has been approved within the next three to five months.

You’d probably think that just because a person lost his arm, he is automatically qualified under an SSA disability program.  Filing for disability is a stringent process, so make sure you evaluate yourself first to avoid disappointment and a waste of time and resources.

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