Unlike any other definitions of disability, the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disability as the total incapacity of a person to perform a substantial gainful activity brought about by either physical or mental illness which is expected to last or have already lasted for at least one year, or may result to the individual's death.
In order to meet the requirements for a disability claim, the petitioner's impairment should be severe enough to hinder him or she to work and to earn above a standard rate set by the SSA for a period of twelve months.
The claimants' medical records then must point out that they have really incurred an illness or illnesses with the same level of severity than that of listed in the SSA's copy of severe impairments.
However, a person who intends to work may still continue to work provided that his or her monthly income will not exceed the amount of $900.00 as the Social Security provisions stated. This is what the SSA referred to as the substantial gainful activity or SGA. Hence, the SSA will consider the gross income of the petitioners in calculating their qualifications.
The period of filing the petition
After establishing their qualifications, the claimants may now file their application to the nearest SSA office for proper assessment and scheduling of case hearings.
Generally, for first time applicants, the social security disability claim case may take a long period of time before being given approval. The initial application process may take from three to four months or longer and six to eight months to complete.
More so, initial claims are more likely to be denied by the Administrative Law Judge for some reasons such as technicalities.
This compels the petitioners to make appeals which consist of two levels: the Request for Reconsideration and the Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
In total, the whole case procedure, including those appeals, may take around three years to finish. This is the main reason why a disabled worker should not waste time and file their claims immediately after he or she has obtained impairment.
The claimant's right for representation
Although the disabled workers may file their claims personally, they are given an option by the SSA to seek professional assistance from a social security insurance lawyer.
This is very much recommended for disabled individuals who have not much time to go through the application process due to their sustained physical or mental incapacities.
The claimants may look for the most credible and competent lawyer to handle their cases. Thus, hiring a representative will increase their chances of having favorable verdicts since an expert social security lawyer has the knowledge and the skills in resolving such cases in the shortest period of time.
Lala C. Ballatan a.k.a Kay Zetkin discovered the pleasure of writing through her daily journals way back when she was 10. With writing, she felt freedom - to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns - imagined and observed, to bear witness.
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