If you are considering filing for Social Security disability benefits in Morristown, you should know that there are many restrictions surrounding the benefits process. Only a small percentage of injured workers will receive benefits, and the Social Security Administration must decide carefully if you will be one of them.
The Social Security Administration will use a five-step process to decide if you qualify as disabled:
- Are you currently working? If you are still working, and you earn enough each month to support yourself (the amount changes each year) the SSA will most likely not consider you disabled. If you are unable to work or the amount you earn is below the calculated average, the agency will then assess your medical condition.
- Is your injury “severe”? Your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to perform everyday work activities, such as walking, standing, sitting, or communicating. In addition, your condition must be expected to last for at least one year. If you meet these qualifications, the state agency moves on to step three.
- Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The SSA maintains a List of Impairments that are severe enough to automatically qualify the victims as legally disabled. If your condition is included in or is equal to a listed impairment, the state agency will consider you disabled. If your condition is not on this list, the SSA will move onto the next step to asses the severity of your injury.
- Are you able to perform the work you did before? You will only be considered for benefits if your condition prevents you from doing your regular job duties. If you are still able to reasonably do your job, you will likely be denied benefits; if you are not, the agency will move on to the final step to assess your abilities.
- Can you do any other type of work? Even if you cannot do the work you used to, the SSA will determine if you could possible do any other type of work by evaluating your medical condition, age, past work experience, education, and any other skills. If they find that you cannot do other work, the agency will decide that you are disabled and, therefore, qualify for benefits.
In many cases, the Social Security Administration will deny benefits for workers who are fully entitled to them. New Jersey Social Security disability lawyer Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. can help you get your application approved the first time—or help you appeal the decision if your benefits have been denied.
Call us today at (877) 360-0183 to begin your FREE consultation, or click the link above to download our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.