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What Does the Social Security Administration Consider When Approving or Denying Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) initially follows certain guidelines for approving or denying disability claims. An Arizona Social Security Disability attorney can help you apply for benefits or appeal a denied claim.

To receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must have paid Social Security taxes for a period of 10 years. What the SSA looks for when reviewing your claim is whether you meet the definition of disabled. The SSA’s five-step process evaluates the following:

  • Work. In 2013, if you work and your earnings are more than $1,040 a month, the SSA does not consider you disabled.
  • Severity of your condition. Your injury must interfere with being able to perform work-related activities.
  • Disability list of conditions. The SSA has a list of severe medical conditions that qualify people as automatically disabled. For medical conditions not on the list, the SSA evaluates whether the condition is of equal severity to those listed.
  • Previous work. When your condition is not of equal severity as those listed, the SSA considers whether the medical condition interferes with your ability to do the work that you previously did.
  • Ability to work at all. Lastly, even though you cannot do your previous job’s work, the SSA evaluates whether you can do any other type of work. If your medical condition prevents you from adjusting to some other type of work and your disability is expected to last a year or result in death, then you meet the definition of disabled.

A Social Security Disability lawyer in Phoenix can make a considerable difference in your ability to receive benefits.

The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck knows what information the SSA considers relevant or missing and can represent you through all stages of the claims process.

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