To qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), an individual must make less than a certain amount of money per month, fulfill specific citizenship requirements, or obtain a specific number of work credits depending on which disability program they apply for. The SSA determines a person’s eligibility based on both non-medical and medical criteria. However, even if an applicant is technically “eligible,” the chances of obtaining disability benefits remains low due to the high volume of applications streaming in on a monthly, and even weekly, basis.
Because of this, qualifying for SS disability in Alpharetta may prove to be difficult if one has little to no experience dealing with the SSA. A knowledgeable disability advocate at our firm can help you through the process and fight for your right to receive Social Security benefits.
There are a number of impairments, both physical and mental, that meet the medical criteria for Social Security disability benefits. According to the SSA’s Blue Book, the following impairments qualify for monthly disability compensation:
It is important to note that an applicant’s impairment does not have to be included in this listing to be approved. Disability benefits may also be awarded if the SSA considers aspects of an applicant’s condition to be medically equivalent to the criteria listed above. This is known as “equaling a disability listing.”
Although this may sound like the applicant has a substantial amount of “wiggle room” in terms of being approved, only six percent of applications “equal” a listing. This is not to say that there is no chance, however the chances may be few and far between.
It is important to not confuse Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Although the process of determining eligibility may be the same, there are fundamental differences between the two. The most notable of these differences is that SSDI is catered to those that have accumulated a number of work credits, while SSI is available to low-income residents who have worked for a limited period of time or have never worked.
If an individual makes a certain amount of money per month, otherwise known as substantial gainful activity (SGA), they are considered employed and generally will not be able to receive benefits. Generally, claimants may work and earn up to the SGA when applying for benefits.
Additionally, the claimant must also be insured under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, meaning they must have paid taxes into the SS system for a number of years before becoming disabled. Age plays a factor in this segment of the process. Essentially, the older someone is at the time of applying, the longer the individual must have worked to obtain the necessary work credits.
Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits in Alpharetta can be both confusing and frustrating, especially since most initial applications are denied. Legal representation from a skilled disability representative can provide you with pertinent information regarding the application process to increase your chances of being approved. Call today to learn more.
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