The process of filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits and obtaining those benefits can be long and tedious. The lawyers at Roose & Ressler are ready and willing to discuss the disability claim process with you and may be able to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees claims for Social Security disability benefits. When evaluating a claimant’s eligibility, the SSA utilizes a thorough, five-step approach. A disability claims lawyer can discuss this process with you and can help you complete the necessary paperwork. The five steps of the SSA disability claims process are as follows:
Substantial Gainful Activity
The SSA must first determine whether or not you are engaged in “substantial gainful activity.” There is no specific definition of “substantial gainful activity,” and the SSA’s determination usually involves assigning a specific dollar amount to your earnings. If your earnings are more than the dollar limit of substantial gainful activity, then you will probably be denied disability benefits. The SSA does not consider activities like self-care, household tasks, unpaid trainings, hobbies, therapies, or school attendance as “substantial gainful activity.” If the SSA finds that you are engaged in substantial gainful activity, you will most likely be denied benefits at this initial stage of review.
Existence of an Impairment
The SSA must determine whether medical evidence shows the existence of an impairment – or a combination of physical or mental impairments – which are serious enough to keep you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. In addition to having a severe impairment, there must also be a finding that your impairment will likely last for at least 12 months.
Listing of Impairments
The Disability Determination Service (DDS) must use a collection of medical criteria known as the Listings of Impairments to determine your eligibility for benefits. If your injury or impairment meets the medical conclusions contained in these listings, your medical records and other medical evidence must document this exactly.
Residual Functional Capacity
The SSA must determine whether you have the “residual functional capacity” (RFC) to allow you to perform basic work-related activities associated with jobs you held in the 15 years prior to becoming disabled. If the SSA concludes that you are able to do your past relevant work, then your disability claim will be denied. Otherwise, the claim will continue on
Your Ability to Perform Other Work
Finally, the SSA must determine whether or not you can perform other work in the national economy, using a variety of “vocational factors,” including age, work experience, and education. The SSA will consider these factors in light of your previous jobs and determine if you can do other work, despite your impairments.
Contact an Ohio Disability Claim Attorney Today to Discuss Your Disability Claim
After the SSA has gone through the above-referenced five steps, it will make a final decision about whether or not you will receive disability benefits. If you are deciding whether or not to file a claim for Social Security disability benefits, our attorneys can walk you through the process.
Contact the disability claim lawyers at Roose & Ressler by calling 800-448-4211, or contact us online for a free initial consultation.