Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability Insurance (often called SSDI) program is designed to provide financial assistance to certain persons with disabilities who are completely unable to work because of their disability. Unfortunately, navigating the SSDI system is quite complex and, due to this complexity, many disabled workers struggle to get the benefits they’re entitled to. We help fight for our clients who we believe are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. If your application for benefits has been denied — or if you are preparing your first application — contact our SSDI law firm to get the help you need. We provide SSDI application and appeal assistance to individuals in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits

Eligibility requirements depend on your age, your years in the workforce during which you worked as a W-2 employee, and when you became disabled.

Are You Disabled?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) only provides SSDI benefits for persons who they believe are totally disabled, meaning you must prove not merely that you’re unable to perform your previous job, but that you’re unable to work in any job. In the terminology used by SAA, to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must be unable to engage in  any substantial gainful activity (SGA). You must also prove that you will be unable to work for at least a year or that the condition will result in death. These are tough standards to meet, and many people are denied the first time they apply. However, a good disability attorney can help the SSA understand the severity of your disability — whether physical or cognitive — to ensure the success of your claim if you have a valid claim.

A Good Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help You Identify Specific Conditions That May Qualify

Any health condition that is so significant as to prevent you from being able to work for at least a year may qualify you for disability benefits. However, the SSA maintains a very helpful publication (often called the Blue Book) that contains an extensive listing of disabling impairments and the information and evidence you need to prove disability. Here are the links to the conditions included in the SSA Blue Book Listing of Impairments for adults:

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Special Senses and Speech

Respiratory Disorders

Cardiovascular System

Digestive System

Genitourinary Disorders

Hematological Disorders

Skin Disorders

Endocrine Disorders

Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems

Neurological Disorders

Mental Disorders

Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)

Immune System Disorders

If you suffer from a disability that’s not listed in the Blue Book, you must be able to prove that it is equal in severity to a condition that is listed. A good SSDI attorney will work with you to document your disability.

How Long Is the Normal SSDI Application Process?

It often takes three to four months to get an initial determination, and then another three to four months for reconsideration if your initial application is denied. In many cases, it can take as long as two years for benefits to be awarded.

What About Compassionate Allowances Conditions?

The SSA has an expedited program — called the Compassionate Allowance Program — for people with certain very serious or terminal conditions so that these individuals can begin receiving benefits much more quickly; new conditions are frequently added to the list of Compassionate Allowance Conditions.

Working with a Social Security Disability Attorney

Working with a Social Security disability attorney can help ensure the process is as smooth and efficient as it can possibly be.

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