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Am I Qualified To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

This is the first question everyone asks before they even apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. It’s a very good question that cannot be answered easily.

At O’Malley Tunstall PLLC, we know Social Security laws inside and out. With office locations in Raleigh and Tarboro, we provide SSD help for clients from Raleigh to the coast of North Carolina. Contact us, so you don’t miss out on benefits you deserve.

In order to receive SSD benefits, there are a number of qualifications you must meet.

Time And Inability To Work

Your disability must be one that will last for a whole year or more or have resulted in death. Also, your medical condition must be significant.

  • Your condition must prevent you from doing the same kind of work that you were doing before.
  • You must be unable to find a job that your disability allows you to do.
  • 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.
  • If you are still working (say, on a very part-time basis), you cannot have monthly earnings beyond a certain allowable cap.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

Your medical condition (your disability) may appear on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) list of impairments. The SSA uses the list to help determine if someone is disabled. We’ve created a list of common conditions for your convenience.

But there are exceptions. One is having a condition that appears on the Compassionate Allowances list. These medical conditions are so severe that the SSA will award disability immediately, regardless of age. Examples include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Early onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Certain heart transplant issues
  • Many types of cancer that have spread to other areas of the body and cannot be removed with surgery
  • Dozens of other serious medical conditions

How ‘The Grid’ Awards Disability Benefits

If your condition is not listed, the SSA then uses a grid of rules to help decide if you are entitled to benefits. This grid considers:

  • Your age at the time of your disability
  • Whether you are capable of doing sedentary, light, medium or heavy work
  • Your education level, work history and job skills

If your condition does not match what the grid recommends, it can be hard to qualify for benefits. Many claims for benefits are denied. However, Susan M. O'Malley is one of very few North Carolina State Bar certified specialists in Social Security Disability law. She is knowledgeable and persuasive, and she will work hard proving you are still entitled to benefits because of an exception. Legal exceptions to the grid include:

  • You can show you have a combination of impairments that make your overall disability more profound.
  • You can show you are unable even to do sedentary (sitting) work.
  • You can show that you suffer from nonexertional impairments. You might be unable to write, follow instructions or pay attention.
  • You are 49, but you will turn 50 in a few weeks.
  • You lack the job skills to do any kind of work.
  • You are physically too worn-out to work any longer.

Let Us Put Our Skills And Experience To Work For You

The rules governing Social Security Disability benefits are complicated and confusing. Establishing a disability no matter your condition or the grid used by the SSA is a tall order for an inexperienced lawyer. That’s why you are better off hiring a law firm that focuses on getting disability benefits for people who are injured or ill.

Ask our attorneys: “Do I qualify for Social Security?” We will give you answers you can trust. Call O'Malley Tunstall today at 252-618-0078, 919-748-5440 or toll free 855-975-2625. Or, write to us using this online form.

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