Who Qualifies For Benefits?

At my law firm, The Law Center for Social Security Disability, I am a lawyer who stands beside my client throughout the entire process — from application, to any required appeal, to the hearing and beyond. For over two decades, I have helped disabled individuals position their case to improve the overall chance of winning and obtaining benefits.

Determining whether you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may seem simple on its surface — after all, no one knows better than you whether you are disabled.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) takes the opposite approach and makes benefits qualification an arduous process that tests one's patience. The agency has purposefully set up the process to be slow and frustrating — they want applicants to give up and go back to work.

Although the requirements for obtaining Social Security benefits will vary depending on the exact circumstances of your situation, in general, benefits are available to individuals who are disabled (i.e., unable to work due to a medical condition that's expected to last at least one year or result in death).

Determining Whether You Are Disabled

The SSA will determine whether you are disabled, based on its strict definition of the term, by evaluating the initial disability determination. This is completed by the local Oklahoma Disability Determination Services office. This determination is based on evidence taken from your initial application, the Disability Report Form and Function Report, and the doctors, hospitals, clinics, and institutions where you've been treated.

Although the SSA tries to present the application process as being simple and straightforward, it's actually a tricky process that can trip-up those unfamiliar with the process. In fact, filling out the application incorrectly — or including seemingly innocuous information can be used against you and is extremely detrimental to your case.

I will discuss with you the relevance of your age, education and past work experiences. These factors have a strong impact upon whether you can win the claim for SSDI and SSI.

Social Security follows a five-step process to determine whether an applicant is disabled:

  1. Is the applicant working?
  2. Is the applicant's medical condition "severe"?
  3. Does the applicant's medical impairment meet certain disability guidelines? If the answer is YES, then you win. If it is NO, then proceed to the next step.
  4. Can the applicant perform his or her usual work? If the answer is YES, you lose the claim. If the answer is NO, then proceed to the next step.
  5. Can the applicant perform any other type of work? If the answer is YES, you lose, if the answer is NO, you win.

Contact an experienced, dedicated Social Security Disability attorney today to see if you may qualify for Social Security benefits. Call my office in Oklahoma City at 405-896-8852 or send me an email online to set up a free initial consultation.

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