Do I Qualify For Social Security?

Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits

This is the first question everyone asks: Am I even qualified to receive Social Security Disability?

There are the qualifications you must meet:

  1. Your condition must prevent you from doing the same kind of work that you were doing before.
  2. Your disability must be one that will last for an entire year or more, or result in death.
  3. Your medical condition must be significant. If you are able to continue working on a consistent basis, you are not eligible. If you are only partially disabled, you are not eligible.
  4. In addition to these three, you must be unable to find a job that your disability allows you to do.
  5. If you are still working, you cannot have monthly earnings beyond a certain allowable cap.
  6. Your disability or medical condition should appear on the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) list of qualifying conditions.

Conditions The Social Security Administration Recognizes

These are some of the classes of diseases and conditions that Social Security Administration recognizes as disabling:

Cardiovascular systemAny impairment or disorder affecting the proper functioning of a person's heart or circulatory system, such as heart disease, angina, peripheral artery disease and anemia
Digestive systemLiver dysfunction or transplants, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and short bowel syndrome
Endocrine disordersDiabetes and hormonal imbalances that affect your body's glands, such as pituitary and thyroid disorders
Genitourinary systemDiseases like chronic renal disease that diminish the function of the kidneys
Hematological disordersIncluding sickle cell disease, coagulation defects and other conditions that affect your blood and blood-producing organs
Immune system disordersIncluding problems with antibody production, certain cellular deficiencies and immune deficiency disorders like HIV/AIDS
Malignant neoplastic diseasesCharacterized by cancerous tumors that may metastasize
Mental disordersIncluding numerous affective and anxiety disorders
Musculoskeletal systemIncluding trauma to the joints and spine as well as amputations, soft tissue damage and other fractures
Neurological disordersIncluding brain tumors and epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, trauma to the central nervous system and to the spinal cord
Respiratory systemIncluding asthma, cystic fibrosis, lung transplants and sleep-related breathing disorders
Senses and speechDecreasing or losing the senses of sight, speech and hearing
Skin disordersIncluding dermatitis, bullous (blistering) diseases and chronic infections of the skin and mucous membranes

When a claimed disability doesn't match with a listed medical impairment, the Social Security Administration uses a grid of rules based on your age at the time of disability, whether you are capable of doing sedentary, light, medium or heavy work, plus your education level, work history and job skills.

Social Security Disability Credits

Social Security Disability is an income-based program, that is, your eligibility is determined by the credits you earn with your earnings. People who earned more in their careers will receive higher disability benefits than people who earned less. If you haven't earned enough credits, you are not eligible for SSD, but you may well be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, SSI, which is not income-based.

Family Members May Also Be Eligible For SSD

Family members of workers who are eligible for SSD benefits are also eligible for SSD benefits. There is no work requirement they must meet. Spouses, ex-spouses and minor children can also be eligible for benefits, known as auxiliary benefits.

Our Goal Is To Help Disabled People Living In North Carolina

The rules governing Social Security Disability benefits are exhaustive and exhausting. If you have questions about your situation, bring them to us at O'Malley Tunstall PLLC in Raleigh. Ask our attorneys: "Do I qualify for Social Security?" We will give you answers you can trust.

Call our lawyers at 252-823-2266, 919-277-0150 or toll free 800-755-1987. Or write to us using this online form.