Shasta Disability Attorney: Know the Steps Social Security Uses to Process Your Claim
Many people are incredibly overwhelmed by the process of building an effective SSI or SSDI disability benefits claim. An applicant will simply respond to questions without attempting to understand why the question is being asked—much less what the Social Security Administration is looking for in their answers.
Without knowing how to speak to the SSA’s evaluation process, it’s easy to shortchange the sorts of hardships and limitations you deal with on a daily basis. That means the SSA is more likely to deny your claim.
Let’s give a basic overview of the process Social Security uses to evaluate your disability benefits claim.
How Social Security decides if you have a disability:
- Are you currently employed? This most fundamental qualifier in the disability determination process looks at whether you are currently engaging in substantially gainful activity, or working at a job where you make more than $1,040 a month. If you are, then from the administration’s point of view, you cannot be considered disabled, and your claim will be denied.
- Is your condition “severe”? Here, the SSA will investigate if your limitations are strong enough to fundamentally and continuously interfere with your performance of basic workplace tasks. If the SSA isn’t persuaded that this is the case—or if your limitations are more mild and temporary in nature—your claim will be denied at this point.
- Is your disorder found on the SSA Listing of Impairments? The SSA maintains a list of very severe health conditions; if you are able to demonstrate that your condition is on the list, your claim is automatically approved. Otherwise, you must demonstrate that your condition is of equal intensity to something on the list.
- Can you do the work you did previously? For medical conditions that are severe—but not as severe as impairments on the SSA listing—the next step in the evaluation process is determining if the condition creates undue hardship in doing the sort of work you did before filing.
- Can you do any other type of work? Finally, the evaluation process concludes with a determination of if you are able to adapt to a different kind of job. The administration will consider your medical conditions, age, education, prior employment and transferable skills. If it is found that you are unable to adapt to different work, your claim will be approved.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits or filing for a Shasta disability benefits claim appeal? The dedicated team at Ledgerwood Law may be able to help. Schedule a no-cost consultation by calling 888.761.7383 or fill out the online contact form to learn more.