Who Decides if I’m Disabled?
If you are unable to work due to a physical disability, mental disability or a long-term illness, it seems obvious that you should be considered to be disabled. After all, your doctor has probably even diagnosed you as having a disability. However, in order to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must make its own determination as to whether you meet their definition of being disabled. This can be a long, complicated process and having experienced legal guidance on your side can help you navigate these complex waters.
I am attorney Timothy White, and I have been helping people throughout Illinois get the disability benefits they need for more than 18 years. I can let you know what the SSA looks for when it comes to reviewing disability benefit claims and I can help you appeal denied claims. I will be there to help every step of the way.
Making Disability Determinations
You may feel that you are suffering from a disability and your physician may even agree with you. However, when it comes to granting Social Security benefits, the SSA has its own criteria for determining whether a person is eligible. In general, the SSA will consider:
Whether you are working: If you are working and have a monthly income of at least $1,040, you are generally not considered to be disabled for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Ability to work: In order to qualify for SSD, your disability must be severe enough that it interferes with your ability to perform the basic functions of your job. If it does, the SSA will take into consideration whether you may be able to perform another type of job, based on your past experience, education and skill set.
Whether you have a disabling condition: The SSA has a list of medical conditions that it considers to be disabling. If your condition is not on this list, it does not preclude your eligibility. However, the SSA must decide whether your condition is similar enough to a listed condition that it should be considered to be a disabling condition.
If the SSA determines that you meet their requirements for eligibility, it will forward your application to a state agency that employs medical professionals who will make a final determination. You may have to submit to a medical examination before a final determination can be made.
A Claim Denial Is Not the Final Word
The SSA tends to deny a number of initial benefits applications. If this happens to you, do not be discouraged. I can help with appealing a denied claim to help you get the benefits you need. The application process can be drawn out and frustrating. That is why hiring a lawyer to help you through this process can help ease your stress levels and better position you for success.
Contact a Cook County Disability Benefits Attorney
While making a disability determination seems like it should be simple, the reality is anything but. I will work hard to help you understand the process so you can get the help you need. Contact me, a Chicago Social Security lawyer, online or call 773.295.2179, toll free at 877.851.4243, to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation. Messages will be returned promptly.