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:
- Your condition must prevent you from doing the same kind of work that you were doing before.
- Your disability must be one that will last for an entire year or more, or result in death.
- 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.
- In addition to these three, you must be unable to find a job that your disability allows you to do.
- If you are still working, you cannot have monthly earnings beyond a certain allowable cap.
- 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 system||Any 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 system||Liver dysfunction or transplants, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and short bowel syndrome|
|Endocrine disorders||Diabetes and hormonal imbalances that affect your body’s glands, such as pituitary and thyroid disorders|
|Genitourinary system||Diseases like chronic renal disease that diminish the function of the kidneys|
|Hematological disorders||Including sickle cell disease, coagulation defects and other conditions that affect your blood and blood-producing organs|
|Immune system disorders||Including problems with antibody production, certain cellular deficiencies and immune deficiency disorders like HIV/AIDS|
|Malignant neoplastic diseases||Characterized by cancerous tumors that may metastasize|
|Mental disorders||Including numerous affective and anxiety disorders|
|Musculoskeletal system||Including trauma to the joints and spine as well as amputations, soft tissue damage and other fractures|
|Neurological disorders||Including brain tumors and epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, trauma to the central nervous system and to the spinal cord|
|Respiratory system||Including asthma, cystic fibrosis, lung transplants and sleep-related breathing disorders|
|Senses and speech||Decreasing or losing the senses of sight, speech and hearing|
|Skin disorders||Including 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.