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Who Is Eligible for SSD Benefits?

Injured Workers Bill of Rights: Click Here for More Information on This Topic

Are you eligible for Social Security Disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers you disabled if you have a
severe physical or mental condition that prevents you from working and that
is expected to last for at least twelve continuous months or to result in death.

If you become severely disabled before age 65, you may be eligible to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. To do so, however, you must meet two eligibility requirements that are strict and difficult.

The first is a medical test. You must present medical evidence to show (1) that “medically determinable” physical or mental impairments actually exist, and (2) that these impairments can be expected to last at least twelve continuous months or to result in death. The medical evidence is critical to any claim and includes physicians’ reports, laboratory and radiological findings, diagnoses, treatment records, etc.

The second is an employability test. The physical or mental impairments must be severe enough that they not only prevent you from performing your previous work, but also prevent you from doing any form of employment that exists in the national economy.

If your disability is not severe enough to meet or equal a so-called “listed impairment” or its equivalent (medical conditions listed by the SSA that automatically meet the medical test), SSA will consider vocational factors such as your age, education and work experience. SSA considers only whether you could perform the work and does not consider that because of appearance or discrimination you could not be hired.

You must present evidence of how any impairments affect your functional ability to walk, stand, sit, lift and speak. Evidence of mental impairment must show how it affects your ability to think clearly and how this mental impairment affects your ability to work.

Although you may handle a Social Security disability appeal yourself, these cases are often complicated. You may want to consult the Wisconsin Social Security Disability attorneys at The Previant Law Firm, S.C. to handle your claim and to deal with the bureaucracy.

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