Category: Social Security Disability

How Do I File an Initial Application for Social Security Disability Benefits?

You can apply for Social Security Disability Benefits by proceeding to your local SSA office or by applying online. The online process is far more convenient but you will not have the assistance of a SSA representative. To apply online, proceed to the primary SSA website, https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/ You should have the names and addresses of […]

Read More

Social Security Disability Analysis Step 5: Can You Perform Other Work?

If you have a severe impairment and you are unable to return to your prior work, SSA finally must determine whether you are able to do “other work.” At Step 5 in its evaluation process, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) typically relies upon a Vocational Expert (“VE”) to provide evidence as to whether the national […]

Read More

Social Security Disability Analysis Step 4: Can You Perform Your Past Relevant Work?

At step 4 in its sequential evaluation process, the SSA’s Administrative Law judge (“ALJ”) determines whether a Claimant has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform his or her prior relevant work. “Prior Relevant Work” includes all gainful work performed by a Claimant within the last 15 years, provided that the employee worked in the […]

Read More

Social Security Disability Analysis Step 3: Does the Severity of Your Condition Equal an SSA “Listing” of Impairments?

The SSA publishes a “Listing of Impairments” that specifically addresses numerous health and mental disorders, diseases and conditions. A Listing defines the SSA’s highest criteria for evaluating the severity of a medical condition at Step 3. Individuals that meet the Listing requirements typically suffer from severe symptoms of their medical condition that are supported by […]

Read More

Social Security Disability Analysis Step 2: Is Your Impairment Severe?

At step 2 in its sequential decision process, the SSA determines whether an applicant’s medical condition is “severe.” First, unless an impairment is expected to result in death, it must have lasted or must be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. This time qualification is called the the “duration […]

Read More

Social Security Disability Analysis Step 1: Are You Gainfully Employed?

At step one in its decision process, the SSA must determine whether an applicant for disability benefits is engaging in “substantial gainful activity.” Gainful activity is usually work done for pay or profit. Technically, you still can qualify for social security disability if you are limited to part-time work. Practically, however, Judges may refer to […]

Read More

Who is responsible for deciding my SSDI disability claim?

Disability Determination Services After you file your initial application for Social Security Disability Benefits your claim is transferred to a state agency known as Disability Determination Services (“DDS”).  The role of DDS is to collect your medical records and to render a decision regarding your medical eligibility for benefits.  DDS also sends questionnaires to detail your […]

Read More

How long do I have to appeal a denial of my initial social security disability application?

Many individuals are denied benefits at the initial application stage and must appeal this decision to pursue their benefits through the Reconsideration or Hearings process. You have 60 days to appeal an adverse decision from the time of your receipt of the denial letter. Generally, SSA will presume that you received the notice within 5 […]

Read More

What is an disability applicant’s RFC?

In the Social Security Disability process, RFC stands for “Residual Functional Capacity.” In determining one’s disability status, the Social Security Administration defines RFC as the capacity to perform work-related physical and mental activities on a “regular and continuing basis.” “Regular and continuing” work means a full work schedule of 8 hours per day, 5 days […]

Read More

Can you receive Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Yes, but …. If an employee on workers’ compensation also meets the Social Security Administration’s disability definition, the SSA typically will consider Workers’ Compensation benefits as a potential offset to Social Security Disability Benefits. Not every disabled worker can recover full benefits under both statutes. The basic rule is that the combined amount of Workers’ […]

Read More