The Social Security Administration (SSA) has multiple benefit programs available to those who qualify for disability assistance. Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be a difficult process, so it’s essential to understand the requirements before beginning. If the application process becomes challenging, seek help from a disability lawyer in NY or the disability attorneys at the Antonowicz Group.
Qualifying for Disability
The SSA has a 5-step approach to determining disability qualification. As with any rule, there are exceptions, however, you should generally proceed according to the standard guidelines.
- If you are working and earning below current Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) or are not able to work at all, you may qualify for disability benefits.
- They assess the intensity of your disability or illness and if it is severe enough to impede your ability to accomplish your usual activities and is expected to persist for a minimum of one year.
- Your condition must be listed in the SSA’s blue book of recognized disabilities that may qualify for benefits.
- If your impairment prevents you from doing the type of work you did at previous jobs and will for at least 12 months, you may qualify.
- Lastly, if you are unable to do any type of gainful work based on your medical condition, you have a good chance of qualifying for benefits.
Listing of Impairments
When researching the SSA’s qualifying disabilities, it’s important to understand how the impairments are categorized. The list is broken down into affected major body systems as opposed to point of origination. This allows for symptoms related to your condition that may present in other areas of the body.
Part A contains criteria that correspond to adults aged 18 and over. Part B relates to the impairments of children under age 18.
Claiming disability for physical conditions, illness, or injury involves determining what category or categories your symptoms fall into. There are 13 classifications with distinct requirements to be approved for benefits. These include the following conditions and body systems:
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System
- Digestive System
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Neurological Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorders
Medical evidence to support your claim should include a comprehensive history including diagnoses and diagnostic results. Additionally, be sure to include all prescribed treatments and therapies as well as any natural or alternative methods you have tried. Your disability lawyer can help you determine what other labs or scans to obtain and include.
Mental disorders are listed in section 12.00 of the blue book and include subcategories that cover all qualifying mental illnesses and conditions.
- Neurocognitive Disorders
- Schizophrenia Spectrum & Other Psychotic Disorders
- Depressive, Bipolar and Related Disorders
- Intellectual Disorders
- Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
- Somatic Symptom & Related Disorders
- Personality And Impulse-Control Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Neurodevelopmental Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Trauma- And Stressor-Related Disorders
Supporting documentation for claiming a mental disability typically includes your full medical and psychological history, documented diagnoses, results from psychological testing, prescribed treatments and how well they worked, and lab work or brain scans. Your Social Security disability attorney will be able to recommend any additional information you may need to obtain.
Disability Lawyers in Rome, NY and Western NY
It is vital to enlist the help of an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to ensure your situation is properly documented, as certain medical conditions and symptoms may span multiple categories. Disability claims are too often denied due to insufficient evidence or incomplete paperwork, and your attorney can review everything prior to submission.
To learn more or to schedule your free consultation please reach out online or call today to speak with one of our disability lawyers.