by Brad Myler
Are you disabled? Does your disability significantly impact your day-to-day life, and prevent you from working and earning the money you need to survive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may qualify to file a Social Security Disability application.
However, before you move forward and start your application, there are a few things you need to know. First, it’s important to understand that what you think of as disabled and what the SSA thinks of as disabled may be very, very different. In the eyes of the SSA, disabled means so severely disabled that you are unable to perform a substantial gainful activity, or SGA.
As of 2011, SGA is defined as $1,000 per month for someone who is not blind, and $1,640 per month for someone who is blind. If you are working and earning at or very close to the SGA limit, you are unlikely to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
The SSA is very strict about this, and can examine employment, tax and banking records to make sure that you qualify.
If you are unemployed due to your disability, or employed but earning less than SGA and your disability prevents you from working more, then you may qualify to file a Social Security Disability or SSI application.
In addition to verifying that your income meets SGA requirements, you will also need to provide significant medical evidence to support your disability claim. This will include medical records, names and contact information for physicians and medical facilities that you have visited, and a detailed record of how your particular condition impacts your day-to-day life.
Not all disabilities are created equal, and the key factor in a disability determination is how your disability negatively impacts your life and your ability to work. Because each case can be unique, you will need to provide very specific details.
If you still aren’t quite sure whether or not you are ready to apply, simply fill out this short form and one of our disability advocates will call you to help you determine if you might qualify to apply for benefits. If we feel that you qualify to apply, we can help you with your disability application and possibly even the appeals process if your case meets the necessary requirements.