SS Disability Law
Social Security Disability Eligibility
- Title II
- Insured – paid into program while working – worked and contributed in five of the last ten years
- Must become disabled within five years of last employment
- Benefits to dependents
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Title 19
- Welfare disability program
- Must have assets less than $2,000.00 – cash or anything that can be turned into cash.
- Inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity.
- Substantial gainful activity = earning $1,040.00 a month for 2013.
- Based on any medically determinable physical or mental impairment.
- Expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
Sequential Evaluation Process
- Step one– working.
- If the claimant is working and earning enough to be considered substantial gainful activity – the claimant cannot be found disabled.
- Step two– the impairment must be severe.
- Claimant must have an impairment that significantly limits their ability to do basic work activities.
- Step three– the listing of impairments.
- In order to be found disabled at step three, a claimant’s medical signs, findings and symptoms must meet or equal one of the set of medical signs, findings and symptoms found in the Listing of Impairments.
- The Listing of Impairments is a set of medical criteria for disability found in the social security disability regulations.
- If a claimant meets or equals the Listing, they are found disabled and there is no inquiry into their ability to do past work or other work.
- Step four– Past relevant work.
- To be found disabled, it must be proven that the claimant is incapable of doing any work that he or she has performed in the last 15 years.
- Step five– Other work.
- To be found disabled, the claimant must prove an inability to do other work that exists in significant numbers in the economy.
- Determination based on claimant’s remaining work capacity, age, education and work experience.
- The Medical-Vocational Guidelines (grids) helpful in making this determination.
- The Medical-Vocational Guidelines provide that the older a claimant is, the easier it is to be found disabled.
The Social Security Disability Process
- Initial Application – In person, phone, internet, mail.
- If denied – APPEAL
- If denied – APPEAL
- Hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge
- Appeals Council
- Federal Court Review
- How to prove disability to ALJ
- All about limitations
- Specific Medical reports
- Vague reports are not helpful
- Fit claimant into definition of disability for age group
- Easier standards as you get older
- Under 50 – Limited to less than sedentary
- 50 – 54 – Limited to sedentary
- 55 – 59 – Limited to light
- 60 – 64 – Limited to medium
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You have a claim if you suffered a loss because of a job-related injury. This means that, to get worker’s compensation, you have to show three things: