6 FAQ About Social Security Disability

Construction site accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall accidents at work in your many people every year and Social Security disability is one way of getting help if you have been injured in this way. It can be difficult to understand all the nuances of Social Security disability, so here are some frequently asked questions to help you learn more.

What Is a Disability

A disability, according to the Social Security administration, keeps you from being able to do enough work to survive. The impairment can be medical, psychological, or psychiatric. To qualify as impaired, you can’t have been doing any substantial work for the last year and experts must be able to verify that it is unlikely you will be able to do any substantial work for the coming year. So, for example, a severe back injury could easily keep you from being able to work for a year. A sprained ankle would not.

What is “Substantial Work?”

Every year the Social Security administration identifies the amount of money a person makes in a month that is considered “substantial.” For 2018, a person must make more than $1180 per month in order to be considered gainfully employed with substantial work.

What’s the Difference between Social Security Disability And SSI?

SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is a different thing from Social Security disability, or SSDI. Supplemental security income is available for low income persons who have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI or who have never worked. Social Security disability is only available to workers who have accumulated enough work credits.

What’s the Best Way to Apply?

There are three ways to apply for Social Security disability. First, you can file a claim online with the Social Security administration at their website. Second, you can go to your local Social Security office, with or without an appointment, and file a claim there. Finally, you can call the Social Security office and set up an appointment. In most cases, the best thing to do is to set up an appointment so that you know some will be ready to talk to you as soon as you arrive.

What Kind of Medical Evidence Do I Need to Supply?

To apply for Social Security disability you will need all the medical forms related to your injury. This will include examination records, treatment notes, bloodwork panels, and the results of any x-rays or other scans that you had done. All of these must be relevant to your current injury and they must be up-to-date. Records that are older than six months are highly likely to be rejected, though older records are important if they give insight into your wider medical history and how the injury might be affecting you in an unexpected or unusual way. One of the best ways to determine if you have the right paperwork is to talk to a lawyer familiar with disability law who can look over what you have and let you know if it’s sufficient.

Can You Ever Get Automatically Approved?

There are a very few medical disabilities that do automatically qualify for Social Security disability. However, you must still meet all the financial and legal requirements before you can collect SSDI. Here are some automatically qualifying medical conditions:
  • Compassionate Allowances This is for severe illness or injury and includes about 200 conditions. These are considered so severe that a simple diagnosis by a doctor is enough to qualify for benefits. These include such things as Lou Gehrig’s disease, early onset Alzheimer’s, small cell lung cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, or anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. People suffering from this type of disability are typically expedited by the system.

  • Listed Impairments There are also a few temporary medical impairments that will qualify. These include liver transplant, heart transplant, or cochlear implant among others. However, these are reevaluated at the end of each year.

If you have been impaired through injury or illness there is help available to you through the Social Security disability and other programs. If you’re not sure where to start, you can get help from a law firm or directly from the Social Security administration itself.