Social Security has a list of medical conditions they consider severe enough to prevent a person from performing a substantial gainful activity (SGA) for each crucial bodily system. If your ailment does not appear on their list, they will determine if it is as severe as one on the list. If such is the case, they may decide that you have a qualifying disability.
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) “Blue Book” list that determines who qualifies for disability benefits includes the following medical conditions:
- Musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., skeletal spine injuries, joint injuries, bone and joint injuries)
- Speech and special senses (e.g., blindness, visual disorders)
- Respiratory problems (e.g., asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis)
- Cardiovascular system diseases (e.g., chronic heart failure)
- Digestive system problems (e.g., liver dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease)
- Genitourinary disorders (ailments involving the genital and urinary organs)
- Hematological conditions (diseases affecting the blood and blood-forming organs)
- Skin disorders (e.g., burns, dermatitis, chronic skin infections)
- Endocrine problems (e.g., thyroid gland disorders, pituitary gland disorders)
- Congenital diseases that impact many bodily systems
- Neurological conditions (e.g., benign brain tumors, epilepsy)
- Mental illnesses (e.g., anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression)
- Cancer (malignant neoplastic illnesses)
- Immune system dysfunction (e.g., HIV infection, inflammatory arthritis, lupus)
These conditions are included in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments – Adult Listings (Part A), which applies to individuals aged 18 and above. The SSA considers conditions in these categories serious because they impede a person’s ability to function.
If you or a loved one has a disability, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. At E. Orum Young Law, our experienced Social Security Disability attorney can analyze your case to see whether your condition(s) qualifies for disability benefits. Our Monroe social security disability attorneys have worked with clients like you for many years.
Call us immediately for a free consultation and file for social security disability!
Who is Eligible for Disability Payments from the SSA?
Title II (Disability Insurance Benefits) and Title XVI (Supplementary Security Income-SSI) of the Social Security Act provide benefits to disabled people.
There are three basic types of people who may qualify for disability benefits under Title II:
- An insured disabled worker under the age of 65
- A dependent of an insured deceased parent or parent eligible for Title II disability or retirement benefits disabled from childhood (before the age of 22)
- A disabled widow or widower aged 50 to 60 if the dead spouse was a Social Security member
Title XVI (or SSI) contains two basic categories under which a financially needy individual with limited resources and income can receive disability benefits:
- A disabled adult aged 18 or older
- A disabled child under the age of 18
How Does the Social Security Act Define Disability?
Social Security’s definition of disability differs from those of other programs. Only total disability is covered by Social Security. There are no benefits available for partial disability or short-term disability.
If all of the following apply to you, Social Security will consider you to have a qualifying disability under their rules:
- Due to a medical condition, you cannot work or participate in an SGA.
- Because of your medical condition, you cannot do past tasks or adapt to new ones.
- Your illness has persisted for at least a year or is projected to last at least a year or will lead to death.
This is a rigorous definition of disability. The rules of the Social Security program assume that working families have other resources available to help them during periods of short-term disability, such as investments, insurance, savings, and workers’ compensation.
What Does “Medically Determinable Impairment” Mean?
A medically determinable physical or mental impairment is caused by anatomical, psychological, or physiological abnormalities that may be detected using clinical and laboratory diagnostic procedures that are medically acceptable. A mental or physical disability must be shown with medical evidence, including symptoms, signs, and test results, rather than just the individual’s declaration of symptoms.
Special Rules for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision
You are considered legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision in your better eye cannot be corrected to better than 20/200. If your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens, they will consider you legally blind. Members who satisfy this legal definition of blindness have some sight and may be able to read large prints and move about without using a cane or a guide dog.
You may be eligible for disability payments even if you do not fulfill the legal criteria of blindness. This might be the situation if your visual difficulties, alone or in combination with other health issues, keep you from working.
There are various special rules for blind people that acknowledge the grave effect that blindness has on a person’s capacity to work. For example, the monthly salary restriction for blind persons is often better than the limit for non-blind employees with disabilities. The monthly earnings limit in 2022 is $2,260.
What is the “Disability Determination Process”?
Local Social Security field offices and state agencies handle the bulk of disability claims at the beginning of the application process. The name of the state agency in Louisiana is Disability Determination Services (DDS). Hearing officers at the DDS or administrative law judges inside the office of hearings and appeals at the SSA may decide subsequent appeals of unfavorable decisions.
How Much Do Residents of Louisiana Get in Benefits?
The yearly Social Security Administration (SSA) payouts to disabled residents and their families in Louisiana were $5 billion as of December 2002. The average disability compensation payment made to workers with a disability was $834 per month. The average monthly benefit in the SSI Disability Program was $398.
What are the Federal and State Governments’ Roles in Disability Evaluations?
In 1954, US Congress created the Disability Determination Services Program by adopting the Social Security Act’s Section 211. Congress intended each state to manage its Disability Determination Program following the guidelines provided by Congress and SSA.
Disability applications are accepted 1) personally at the local Social Security offices around the state, 2) online at www.ssa.gov, or 3) by phone at 1-800-772-1213. For medical determination, claims are transferred to the DDS area office in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and Metairie. After the medical judgment is made, the claim is returned to the relevant Social Security Office for the decision.
What Kind of Evidence is Needed for Disability Determination, and Who is the Decision-maker?
Typically, the DDS seeks proof from the member’s medical sources. If such proof is unavailable or lacking, the DDS will schedule a consultative exam (CE) to get the needed medical evidence. The DDS does the disability determination after the initial development is done. The examiner or consultant may contact a medical source(s) again and request additional information if the DDS determines that further evidence is still necessary.
Is it Possible to Work while Receiving Disability Benefits?
People may test their ability to work under Social Security rules without losing access to cash benefits and Medicare/Medicaid. These rules (referred to as “work incentives”) vary for Title II and XVI recipients, although both may provide:
- Continued monetary benefits
- Continued assistance with medical bills
- Assistance with work expenses
- Vocational education and training
Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney in Monroe, LA!
The following are some of the benefits of hiring the services of an experienced social security disability lawyer from E. Orum Young Law:
- Free case review. It is natural to wonder whether you qualify right from the start. E. Orum Young Law realizes that being handicapped, wounded, or sick can considerably impact your financial stability, which is upsetting. We allow our attorneys to take the stress of learning the ins and outs of social security off your shoulders.
- Filing assistance. You can rely on our attorney to guide you through the paperwork process. Before the SSA can accept your claim, you will need to provide them with a large volume of information and evidence. Do not allow something as simple as missing documents to prevent you from receiving your claim.
- Improve your odds of success. This is true whether this is your first application, second application, or appeal of a denied claim.
If you would like to discuss your case with us, we welcome the opportunity to do so at the E. Orum Young Law office. Give us a call now to schedule a free case review!