Among the myriad complexities of applying for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is figuring out if your particular disability or condition counts as a qualifying condition as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
How the SSA Decides If You’re Disabled
The first thing they’ll consider is your monthly income. If your gross earnings average more than $1,260 per month, you generally will not qualify as your disability is not considered limiting enough.
If you’re not earning this amount, the SSA will send your application to Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency, to determine the severity of your condition based on a few additional steps.
Your condition must “significantly limit your ability to do basic work” and can be either physical, mental, or both. Further, your disabling condition must have lasted, or be expected to last at least 12 months.
Social Security’s List of Medical Conditions
The SSA maintains a large list of conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent someone from engaging in gainful employment (defined by the above earnings average). If a condition is found on this list, SSA then decides how severe the condition is based on medical documentation.
They might also use two newer initiatives to help speed up processing: Compassionate Allowances or Quick Disability Determinations. The former is typically reserved for especially severe or terminal conditions while the latter uses computer screening to determine cases with “a high probability of allowance”.
If you don’t qualify under these guidelines, SSA will determine if your condition prevents you from performing your past work. If it does, they’ll try to figure out if there’s other work you can do given your situation. If it’s determined that you can’t do any other work, then you will be deemed disabled and likely will qualify for SSI or SSDI.
Beyond this, there are some other special conditions and situations that may qualify or disqualify you for potential benefits. This is why it’s important to discuss your situation with a qualified Social Security claims attorney, especially if you’ve been denied initially. Call the team at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. today at (541) 434-6466 or (541) 967-1045 to learn more and schedule your free consultation.