Social Security Claim Evaluation Form
The Social Security Administration, through the use of your state Disability Determination Services Office will decide whether or not your condition meets the definition of “disabled” according to federal law. The basic questions that must be answered are:
1) Are you still working?
It is possible that you may be working and still qualify for Social Security disability benefits. There is a limit to the amount of money that you are able to earn every month and still be considered disabled. If you earn more than that amount, then generally you will not be considered to be disabled.
If you’re not working at all, or if you are currently earning less than the threshold amount, then the next step is for DDS to find out more about your medical condition.
2) Is your medical condition considered to be “severe”?
To decide whether or not you are disabled, Disability Determination Services must make some decisions about what activities you can do, and how difficult it is for you to do them. DDS will decide whether your condition significantly limits your ability to things like walk, sit, move, lift and remember for at least 12 months. If you are significantly limited in your ability to do those activities, and other things like them, then chances are, your medical condition will be considered to be “severe”. Otherwise, if you are not severely limited in your ability to do all of those things, or most of them, then most likely, you are not going to be considered disabled.
3) Is your medical condition listed on the List of Impairments?
There is a list that exists – called a List of Impairments – that describes medical diseases, illnesses, and conditions that are considered to be so severe that if you are diagnosed with a condition on the list, then you are automatically considered to be disabled by law. There is a chance that your medical condition isn’t on the list, but that your condition very closely resembles a condition on the list and your limitations are similar to those limitations for conditions included on the list. If that is the case, then you may also automatically be considered to be disabled. If your medical condition isn’t included on the list, however, then you may not be disabled after all.
4) Are you able to do the same kind of work that you’ve always done in the past?
It is important for Disability Determinations Services to find out whether your condition and limitations are so severe that you are unable to perform the same kind of work that you’ve done in the past. If DDS decides that you are unable to do the same kind of work that you’ve done in the past to earn a living, then you’re not going to be considered to be disabled.
5) Are you able to perform other types of work to earn income?
If Disability Determination Services decides that (although you can’t do the same kind of work you’ve done in the past) you are able to perform other types of work to earn income, then you will not be considered to be disabled. DDS will take into account your diagnosis, your physical limitations, you age, your education level, your past work history and other skills to decide whether you are able to do other kinds of work.
If You Need Help
If you have questions about filing for Social Security Benefits, or if you’ve been denied benefits and need to appeal, please don’t hesitate to call our office. There is no charge for the call and there’s no obligation. Call us at (702) 707-2222 and we will help you right away.