Signs That You Will Be Approved for Disability
The disability process can be quite challenging. The SSA or the Social Security Administration, often denies most disability claims at the initial stage.
According to SSA, the disability approval rate is about 36% at the initial stage. It means that six out of every ten disability applications will not be approved.
More than 50% of people who appeal the initial denial have their applications approved. Of course, no one can guarantee that your application will be approved or not. However, there are a few points that can help you understand whether you even have a chance.
What are Signs That Show You Will Be Approved for Disability?
If you can attach the necessary medical evidence with your application for the disability benefit, there may be some signs of getting approval. You need to prove that you are unable to work for at least one year for your condition to become eligible for this disability benefit. Here are some signs that your claim can be approved.
1. You Earn Less Than the SGA Amount
If your earnings are less than the SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity), it is the first sign that Social Security Administration may approve your claim. In the year 2022, the SGA amount for the bind candidates is $ 2,260, and the SGA level for the non-blind candidates is $ 1,350.00.
However, earning less than the SGA level does not guarantee you approval. You should submit your medical evidence to support your claim. Conditions like retirement pensions, workers compensation benefits, or long-term disability payments do not count towards the Substantial Gainful Activity level.
2. You Have Paid Taxes and Have Enough Work Credits
Social security disability is a type of insurance program. You need to earn more work credits to have this coverage. You can earn work credits after paying Social Security taxes. A person can earn up to four work credits every year.
According to SSA, you must earn at least 40 work credits to apply for disability benefits. 20 of them should be earned in the last ten tears.
- There are different eligibility criteria for different age groups.
- If you are younger than 24, you must earn at least six credits during the third year ending after your disability began. If your age is somewhat between 24 to 30, you must work three years and earn 12 credits.
- If you are 31 or older, you must have 20 work credits in the last ten years before your disability begins.
3. You Are 50 or Older
The social security regulations make it way easier to get approval if you are more than 50 years old. This is called the Medical-Vocational Guideline.
4. Blue Book Lists
The Blue Book is an online document published by the SSA. This document is generally called Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. This document lists medical impairments and conditions that are serious enough to prevent you from working.
If your medical condition is listed in the Blue Book, it can significantly help your claim. However, it does not guarantee your approval.
Some of the listed medical conditions are:
- Mental disability from anxiety, bipolar, depression, PTSD, etc.
- Heart problems like hypertension or coronary artery disease
- Neurological disorders like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or ALS
- Congenital conditions like Down Syndrome
5. Medical Records
You can submit all the documents and information about your disability with your application. Here is a list of the documents and medical records that can help you get approval.
- Office visit notes
- Operative reports from your neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon
- Pharmacy records to show your medication history
- Diagnostic reports from MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays
- FCE or Functional Capacity Evaluation report
- Permanent Impairment Ratings, if you have received them
There are a few more conditions that can help you with your approval.
- If you have received medical care from your doctor for more than one year
- If you have visited the doctor once every two or three months during this period
- If your physician has referred or conducted any appropriate testing or examination
- If your doctor is a specialist
6. You Have Not Worked for at Least 12 Months for Your Health Condition
The SSA does not approve someone with any partial or temporary disability. You have to prove that you have a medical condition that lasts more than 12 months. You need proof that you have not been able to work for at least 12 months.
7. Consultative Exam
The SSA can suggest a consultative exam before announcing their decision. A consultative exam is a type of medical exam conducted by an experienced doctor. After evaluation, the doctor will provide a report. This report contains your diagnosis, your credibility, and your limitations.
8. Social Security Disability Attorney
You can always find a social security lawyer to represent you. They can always help you get approval for your disability.
- Most disability attorneys prefer to work on a contingent fee basis. You only need to pay the fee if you win. Hence, the lawyers claim that they can help you win.
- A lawyer who is more focused on helping their clients receive approval from SSA will ensure that you have all the medical records and other necessary documents. They can understand what you need and how to help you get that.
- An experienced disability attorney will be aware of the process of how the judge runs your case in the courtroom. Their experience and knowledge can help you to present your case effectively.
It may be extremely frustrating and challenging for you to apply for disability benefits. However, if you know the process and information that can increase your chance of receiving the approval, you can appropriately prepare your application. Of course, you can always hire an attorney to help with the procedure.