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How Does The Social Security Administration Determine Disability



If you have been injured and are no longer able to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability. Social Security covers mentally and physically disabled adults and some children. Once you apply for SSD, you will have to undertake a series of tests and appeals to determine if you qualify to receive funds. A disability rights attorney can be a helpful guide in your journey through the system.

The Disability Determination Division

Each state has its own Disability Determination Service. These offices handle all disability applications and decide which applicants are eligible to receive funds under strict federal guidelines and statutes.

In order for your application to be considered:

  • You must be unemployed currently and earning less than $1,010 per month.
  • Your physical or mental condition must interfere with your ability to work.
  • Your illness or injury must be in the official Listing of Impairments, or it must meet the criteria for equal severity.
  • You must be unable to do the work you were doing before you became ill or injured.
  • You must be unable to do any other type of work.

Before you apply, be sure to get copies of your complete medical records documenting the severity of your illness or injury and certifying that you cannot work. The Disability Determination office accepts records from only certain types of licensed medical doctors. The more evidence you present from qualified medical sources, the more likely you are to have your claim accepted at some point in the process.

Most people who apply for disability are initially denied. You have the right to appeal, and you should do so. If your appeal is turned down, you can petition to have your case presented to a judge. If the judge denies your claim, your case can be reviewed by the Appeals Council.

A disability rights attorney can make the disability process much easier to manage. He or she will be familiar with the Disability Determination office and the people working there. You'll get advice on how to present a more convincing case, and you'll stand a greater chance of being approved.

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