Your Augusta disability law firm has a thorough knowledge of the determination methods for Social Security disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As such, they can help you through this often complicated process and better your chances for success.
What Happens to Your Claim When You Submit It
When the Social Security Administration receives your application for disability, they forward it to a state agency called Disability Determination Services (DDS). Therefore, the SSA doesn’t make the initial determination on whether or not you are disabled. The primary focus of DDS in making this determination is on your ability to work. This is because disability was established for individuals who cannot work for at least 12 months due to a physical or mental impairment. When DDS receives your claim file, the following will occur:
- A disability claims examiner is assigned to your case.
- The examiner orders your medical records from all doctors and treatment facilities.
- When your records arrive, the examiner conducts a thorough review of your case to determine whether you qualify for one of the programs administered by SSA.
- Once this review is completed, the examiner makes a determination. Your Augusta disability law firm will tell you that you should not become discouraged if you are denied at this stage. Appeals often result in a reversal of the initial denial.
Issues That the Examiner Will Consider in Making the Determination
The examiner will assess your application on a number of grounds. Given the gravity of this assessment, you can be sure that your Augusta disability law firm will scrutinize the conclusions made by the examiner. Some of the more important of these are as follows:
Do You Work Right Now?
Keep in mind that the acid test of both SSDI and SSI is the applicant’s ability to work, so this first step is very important. The examiner cannot follow you around the workplace, so your income must be used to assess your ability to work. This assessment is on your substantial gainful activity, or SGA. The SGA amount for 2015 is $1,090 unless the applicant is blind, in which case it is $1,820.
How Severe Is Your Condition?
The second criterion used to assess eligibility is whether your condition is severe enough to meet the requirements.
Is Your Condition in the Disability Listing?
The SSA has a listing of impairments that it uses for determining disability. It helps your case substantially if your condition matches one in the listing. Your medical records will be used for this step.
Can You Work Full-Time?
This is closely related to the first step, but entails a more thorough assessment of your work capabilities. The examiner will be looking to see whether you can work at a job full-time that is similar to the one you most recently held, but also other similar jobs. A medical-vocational assessment may be used at this step, which considers other jobs which you may be able to work.
Our Augusta Disability Law Firm Can Help If You’re Denied
Remember that an initial denial by the SSA is not the last word. An Augusta disability law firm will tell you whether you have grounds for an appeal and help you through that process. Call Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP today to set up a consultation at (706) 737-0771.