Our Monthly Law Lesson – April
You Have Questions. We Have Answers.
Client Question of the Month:
Who Decides If a Person Is Disabled?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the U.S. in February fell to 3.8 percent from 4 percent at the beginning of the year. Many people across the country are celebrating the drop, but what many of them don’t realize is that a lot of factors get shoved to the wayside when this number is configured — one of the most important being the application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
While there are Americans who argue against SSDI or SSI, these programs are an absolute necessity for millions of disabled men, women, and children throughout the nation, all of whom are physically or mentally unable to work and who need financial assistance just to make ends meet. The application process for these programs is quite complex, and in fact, many who apply are denied access.
If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you should seriously consider letting us help you apply for these programs. Once you apply, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your application using a five-step process to ensure that you meet basic requirements for disability benefits:
- Are you working?
- Is your medical condition considered “severe”?
- Is your medical condition listed on their List of Impairments?
- Can you do the work you did before you were injured?
- Can you do any other type of work?
After answering these questions and reviewing your application, the SSA will send it to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office located in the state in which you live. Doctors and disability specialists in the state agency then contact your doctor(s) regarding your condition. They will use medical evidence from your doctors and hospitals, clinics, or institutions where you have been treated. After that, they may still require more medical information before they can decide if you are disabled.
As you can see, even applying for these programs is convoluted. If you have any questions about the process or about who ultimately determines whether or not you qualify for SSDI or SSI, please contact us for a FREE case evaluation on Social Security disability.