You may receive Social Security disability benefits if you cannot work because of a disabling condition. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two disability benefit programs for disabled individuals. However, the application process can be difficult and confusing. Many people are denied Social Security disability benefits the first time they file an application.
Our Erie Social Security disability attorneys can help you file your application for benefits. We can also help you appeal a denial of benefits.
Do I Need to Apply for SSDI or SSI Benefits?
The SSA requires all applicants to apply for SSDI benefits first. SSDI or Social Security Disability Income is a program for workers who become disabled. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned the required number of work credits by working and paying taxes. If you do not meet the requirements for SSDI, you can apply for SSI. SSI or Supplemental Security Income is a disability benefits program for low-income individuals who have not earned the required number of work creditors to qualify for SSDI.
Both programs have numerous qualifications that applicants must meet to receive Social Security disability benefits. An Erie Social Security disability attorney can help you avoid some of the common mistakes people make that result in a denial of benefits.
Common Reasons SSI and SSDI Applications are Denied
The SSA requires that applicants complete all information on the disability application, including submitting required documentation. If information is missing or inaccurate, the SSA may deny the application.
Your Condition Does Not Meet the Definition of Disabled
The SSA has a specific definition of being disabled. Your application for disability benefits will be denied if you do not meet each element of the SSA’s definition of disabled. To be considered disabled, your condition must be expected to last a minimum of 12 months or result in death, prevent you from performing the work you did before the condition; and, prevent you from adjusting to another job that is considered an SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity).
You Do Not Meet the Income Requirements
Social Security disability benefits also have an income requirement. If you exceed the income requirement, you do not qualify for benefits. An SGA is work that earns enough money to support yourself. For 2018, an individual earning more than $1,180 ($1,970 if the person is blind) meets the SGA standard.
Insufficient Medical Evidence
Being diagnosed with a condition that may result in being disabled is not sufficient to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Your condition must prevent you from performing an SGA to earn a minimum income to support yourself. The SSA has guidelines (the Blue Book) that define factors that must exist for an impairment to qualify as a disabling condition. You must provide sufficient medical evidence to prove your condition rises to the level of a disabling condition.
In some cases, the SSA may send an applicant for a medical examination or evaluation from a doctor the SSA chooses. Failing to submit to the examination or evaluation is cause for a denial of benefits.
Contact an Erie Social Security Disability Attorney for Help
There are other reasons why the SSA may deny your disability claim. Our Erie Social Security disability attorney is familiar with the requirements for disability benefits. Having an attorney to help you with your Social Security disability application can reduce your level of stress and avoid mistakes that could delay the benefits you need.