Disability is a program run by the Social Security Administration, and it's an entitlement program for those who have paid into the Social Security system. There is, however, confusion as to what constitutes a disability. The following are the main elements that must be present to qualify for disability payments.
You must have a qualifying disability
The Social Security Administration has a list of qualifying conditions for a disability that have developed over time by working with the medical field and precedents established through the courts. Without having one of these conditions, you are not likely to receive disability, but you can also appeal through the court system. From time to time, new conditions are recognized.
The disability must prevent you from gainful employment
It is one thing to have a qualifying disability, but you must also demonstrate that it prevents you from making a living. There are many qualifying disabilities listed by the Social Security Administration, but your condition may not be severe enough to stop you from making a living. In addition, you must also show that you are prevented from doing other work and not just your present profession. Your disability must prevent you from earning a living in any significant way.
The disability must last more than a year
If you were to have a disability that prevents you from working, it must be one that lasts at least a year. The inability to use your arm because you broke a bone is only temporary. Your arm will heal, and you will be able to work again. However, your disability does not need to be permanent. With treatment, you may be able to work again. The health condition only needs to prevent you from gainful employment for more than a year.
You must be able to document the disability
With a qualifying condition that prevents you from working, there still is the question of documentation. This will consist of more than a letter from your doctor. You will need to show medical records, including treatments, medications, and any rehabilitation you have undergone. Because not all disabilities are permanent, you may be approved for disability, but the Social Security office will want a medical update periodically to determine if you are still disabled.
Disability benefits are not easy to obtain. Everyone is encouraged to work when they can, but when you have a serious disability, the benefits are there to help you. However, because these benefits can be difficult to be approved for, it is a good idea to hire an attorney. An attorney can help you prepare your application and document your disability. Social Security disability lawyers always work on a contingency, so there is no expense in consulting one.
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