Leesburg SSD Eligibility Attorney
For thousands of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit applicants, the claims process ends in heartbreak. The majority of applicants are initially denied because of eligibility reasons—meaning there are problems with their work history or medical records. Work and medical records are crucial for being accepted into the SSD benefit program, and including as much information about yourself during the initial claim or the secondary review process may be the difference between approval and denial. Our Leesburg SSD eligibility attorneys at the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. are here to help if your claim has been denied.
Five Step Sequential Evaluation
To determine eligibility, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step, sequential process, which means that an applicant can be denied at any point during these five steps. The SSA asks the following questions to determine eligibility:
- Can the claimant perform Substantial Gainful Activity (earn more than $1,260 a month in 2020)?
- Does the claimant have a severe medical condition?
- Is the claimant’s severe medical condition either listed on the SSA’ list of impairments, or is it equal in severity to a listed impairment?
- Is the claimant capable of performing any Past Relevant Work?
- Is the claimant capable of performing other work?
The SSA’s eligibility requirements for disability are strict. In order to qualify, you must be able to provide the following medical evidence:
- Due to your work, you are permanently disabled. Or, your earning ability is significantly and permanently diminished; and
- Your injury or disability is expected to last for at least a year, or is likely to inevitably cause your death.
Your Work History Determines if You Qualify, and How Much You Can Receive
In addition to proving a medical disability, you must include your work history during the claims process in order to qualify for SSD benefits. There are two requirements, or tests, that all claimants must meet: “recent work” and “duration of work.”
Each test is based on “work credits” earned by the claimant. All workers are awarded one credit for every $1,410 they earn. The maximum number of credits anyone can earn during a year is four, which is equivalent to earning $5,640 or more in one year. Usually, one needs 40 work credits, earned in the last 10 years, in order to qualify for SSD benefits. Claimants under the age of 30 may be able to qualify with fewer credits, however. Furthermore, a claimant’s lifetime average earnings are used to determine how much they can receive in SSD benefits. Claimants who earned more over their lifetime are privy to larger disability benefits.
Call Our Leesburg Social Security Disability Eligibility Lawyers
Whether you have been denied or have yet to file a Social Security Disability benefit claim, an attorney can help you through this complicated process, which takes at least four to five months, and may take over a year if you are denied. To get started today, call the Leesburg Social Security Disability eligibility lawyers at Shea A. Fugate, P.A. to schedule a free consultation.