Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Disability Mystery

Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program designed to provide financial assistance in the form of monthly compensation to workers who can no longer work due to an injury, medical condition, etc.

When applying for disability benefits, the following information is necessary when you initially contact the Social Security Administration. You may apply in person, on line or by phone.

1. Original copy of birth certificate or any valid document of applicant’s age

2. Social Security Number

3. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all medical care providers, hospitals, etc. that provided services relevant to your injury or medical condition

4. List of jobs and companies done in the past

5. Proof of income (W-2 from employer or federal tax returns if self employed)

These documents are used by the SSA to determine whether you have earned enough work credits to qualify for benefits. If you have, then they can determine if you meet the legal definition of disabled to actually get the disability benefits.

A group of individuals from the State’s Disability Determination Services made up of a health care specialist and expert disability will evaluate the information provided. To determine if an applicant is disabled, they will consider the following:

1. Whether the applicant’s injury or medical condition prevents “substantial gainful activities” or employment

2. Whether the applicant’s injury or medical condition is included on a list of impairments developed by the SSA and listed on their website ( If not, they will consider the severity of the existing injury(s) or medical condition(s)

3. Whether the applicant is currently working

4. Whether the applicant can perform similar jobs that he/she previously had for the last 15 years or has transferable skills to do other types of employment

Most applicants will be denied benefits when they first apply. It could be for a number of reasons.

To resolve these issues, applicants should consult an attorney. Most attorneys offer a free consultation regarding Social Security Disability.


  1. I want to know if it is better to use a lawyer?

  2. I think so, most lawyers are free to talk about your case and you can shop around. the lawyer wants to get paid and needs to help you win to get paid. just talk to some.

  3. Make sure to have all your doctors and medicine when you go, try to get your medical records if you can.

  4. can i request an appeal myself or do i need an attorney?