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A Five-Step Checkpoint Toward SSA Disability Eligibility

After a person applies to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits, if the application meets the primary criteria, it is then passed to a state agency for final determination. If granted, payments typically begin after a full five-month waiting period.

On criteria is that the impairment or disability must be a condition that will last beyond a 12-month continuous time period. Another point of consideration is that the applicant must not be able to perform any type of gainful employment.

Determining if a person is eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits can be achieved using this five-point checklist:

Do you presently work at a job?

People employed earning a certain level of income per month will more than likely be determined to not be disabled. Any person who is unable to work or does not reach the income threshold will have their case reviewed.

Do you have a serious medical condition?

A person’s medical condition can be determined serious if it exists for more than 12 months and prohibits physical activity necessary to perform typical work functions.

Is your medical condition on the SSA scheduled list?

There are SSA determined medical conditions that automatically qualify an individual for disability benefits. The SSA publishes a list of these conditions. If your specific condition is not on the list, the agency must make a determination based on investigative review.

Are you capable of performing similar types of job activities performed in the past?

If your present medical condition does not prevent you from performing those employment duties you executed in the past, then you may be denied SSA disability benefits. A fact-finding process will be used to check your duty-performing capabilities as part of the process.

Can you perform any type of work?

In the event that you cannot perform the functions of your previous held employment, the SSA will check to see if you are capable of performing any kind of work. The agency will take into consideration your age, health, education, prior experience and possession of any other applicable job skills when making a determination.

The claims process can be complex, and mistakes in the application can result in delays. If you are applying for benefits or have had your application denied, contact an experienced Social Security disability advocate for help.