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Social Security Disability Requirements: Find Out if You Qualify

By Matthew Golitko on April 05, 2015

Man explaining paperwork to a couple in an office  If an injury or illness prevents you from being able to work, Social Security Disability can help you support yourself and your family as you recover and put your life back together. Working Americans contribute to Social Security every month so that they can take advantage of these benefits in case they encounter any unexpected difficulties. We help clients from every city in Indiana file their claims to receive Social Security Disability payments after a life altering event or diagnosis. At our Kokomo and Indianapolis offices, we can help you understand Social Security Disability requirements so you can navigate the paperwork and experience greater financial stability. Below, we explain more about the criteria you must meet to receive Social Security Disability so you can determine if this program may be suitable for you.  

Qualifying Conditions

If you’re interested in pursuing Social Security Disability, you might have heard of the “blue book.” This is the manual that explains which conditions impair your ability to work and may make you eligible for disability assistance. Many physical, mental, and psychological disorders fall under this category. These include:

  • Spine, back, and other orthopedic conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Dermatological issues such as severe eczema
  • Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease or MS (multiple sclerosis)
  • Loss or reduction of senses, including deafness and blindness
  • Chronic digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS
  • Respiratory problems
  • Immune system issues such as arthritis and lupus
  • All forms of cancer
  • Mental conditions such as schizophrenia, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or depression
  • Autism and other developmental disorders

Even diseases and disorders not listed in the blue book can be covered under Social Security Disability, so don’t be discouraged if you do not see your specific condition listed. Your particular issue may be eligible if it is medically confirmed and interferes with your ability to work.

Understanding Your Functional Limitations

To qualify for Social Security Disability, your condition must make you incapable of working for a year or more. Your doctor may provide enough information about your symptoms and abilities to show that you meet the requirements. However, you will most likely need to undergo a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment, or RFC, to determine the exact work restrictions caused by your illness or injury. At your RFC, a Disability Determination Services medical professional will usually test your ability to:

  • Lift heavy objects
  • Stand or sit for extended periods
  • Squat, bend over, crouch, kneel, or stoop as needed
  • See or hear in work environments
  • Reach and retrieve objects
  • Move your fingers

Patients with mental disabilities may also undergo Mental RFCs conducted by psychologists or psychiatrists. The Social Security Administration will use this information to decide if you are capable of performing your past work or finding alternative jobs.

How We Can Help You with Your Claim

Our attorneys and on-staff registered nurse can help you through the complex procedure of filing a Social Security Disability claim. We can help you obtain the medical records, complete complex paperwork, decipher federal standards, and more. If you suffer from a disability resulting from a work injury, we can also help you file appropriate workers’ compensation claims.

Learn More about the Requirements for Social Security Disability

Our legal team can help clients with Social Security Disability claims. To receive assistance with your claim or learn more about the requirements, contact Golitko & Daly for a consultation with one of our caring and experienced attorneys

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