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5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Filing a Disability Claim

Elderly man in wheelchair completing disability form documents The definition of “disability” under Social Security is different than other programs, like workers’ compensation or when settling for damages after a car accident.

Social Security pays only for total disabilityNo benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

“Disability” under Social Security is based on your inability to work. You are considered disabled under Social Security rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • It is found that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

The 5 Questions You’ll Be Asked When Filing a Disability Claim

To determine if you fall under this definition of disability, the Social Security Administration uses a step-by-step process involving five questions. They are:

  1. Are you working? (If you are working and you earn a certain amount per month, you generally cannot be considered disabled).
  2. Is your condition severe? (Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered disabling).
  3. Is your condition found in the list of disability conditions? (The Listings are a list of medical conditions that are considered so severe that they automatically mean that you are disabled.)
  4. Can you do the work/kind of jobs you used to do? (If your condition is severe, but not at the same or equal level of severity as a Listing, then it must be determined if your impairment interferes with your ability to do the kind of jobs you used to do. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, the matter proceeds on to the fifth and final step of evaluation below).
  5. Can you do any other type of work? (If you cannot do the kind of work you used to do, the SSA will determine if you are able to adjust to other kinds of work. If you are, your claim will be denied. If you are unable to do your past work and unable to adjust to other work, your claim should be approved).

The Social Security disability process can be complicated. If you’re considering filing a claim (or have tried in the past), contact us for a free case assessment.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Attorneys Working for You

Were you denied a Social Security disability claim? You are not alone. Far from it. The vast majority of initial SSD claims are denied (roughly 70%). Many applicants give up in frustration. This is a mistake.

It’s important to appeal your claim through the Social Security benefits appeals process. A Social Security disability attorney who thoroughly understands the rules and regulations may be able to help you get results.

Call 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online today to find out how the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin can help. Let a Social Security disability attorney in North Carolina guide you through the complicated Social Security disability claims process.