Avoiding Legal Trouble

Five Things You Need To Understand When Filing A Claim For Disability

If you are disabled and can no longer work, you may be thinking about filing a claim for disability with the Social Security Administration. The following are a few important things you should know.

You can have an income and still receive disability

You are allowed to earn a certain amount of money and still be eligible for disability. This is referred to as substantial gainful activity or SGA. It is specified as a maximum monthly amount and is adjusted each year to reflect the cost of living. For the year 2018, it was $1970 a month for a non-blind person.

You need a qualifying condition

This can be tricky because a list of qualifying medical conditions is readily available. The problem is that the condition must relate directly to your inability to earn a living. Type 2 diabetes, for example, is a qualifying medical condition. But most people with this disease will not qualify for disability. However, if you have severe vision problems and nerve damage in your legs that confines you to a wheelchair, you may be eligible for disability.

You will need to document your health issues

Whether it is a combination of medical problems that prevents you from earning a living or a single medical problem, Social Security will want proof of this. You need to be prepared to provide a doctor's diagnosis, a record of medications, and even a record of an attempt at rehabilitation. It is important to show that there has been an effort to improve your condition, if it is possible to do so for your specific medical issue.

If you have already filed and been denied

Do not panic. Disability applications are routinely denied. In fact, the national average is 64 percent, so if your application was denied, you are in good company. The good news is that you are entitled to an appeal, but it is best to have an attorney help you with this to maximize your chances of success.

Don't worry if you can't afford an attorney

This is because all Social Security disability lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that they don't get paid unless you win your case. In addition, their fees are limited to those specified by law and must be approved by the Social Security disability office. So there is no good reason for not consulting with an attorney.

Because the Social Security disability application process is complicated and the percentage of rejections so high, it is often best to use the services of an attorney. At the very least you can consult with one to determine if you have a good chance of getting disability. And remember, if you can't afford an attorney, Social Security disability lawyers work on a contingency fee.