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Your definition of disability may be different from the SSA's

If you are unable to hold gainful employment due to a serious illness or injury, you know how frustrating and frightening it can be to find yourself unable to provide for your New York family. Fortunately, disabled individuals may be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, but actually obtaining these benefits can be complicated.

In order to obtain Social Security disability benefits, you must prove to the SSA that you are genuinely disabled. This seems simple enough, but your definition of disability may be quite different from the definition held by the SSA. Navigating the claims process can be daunting, but you do not have to do it alone.

A strong claim for benefits 

If you wish to obtain benefits, you must file a claim that includes documentation proving you have a disability that meets the requirements set forth by the SSA. According to the SSA, you may have a valid claim if the following apply to your situation:

  • You are unable to work as you did before you became ill or suffered your debilitating injury.
  • Your physical condition leaves you unable to work in other types of employment.

Your claim must demonstrate that you are currently unable to hold gainful employment. You may seek benefits for disabilities related to a physical condition, mental condition or serious illness. Building a strong claim is possible, and making the effort to do so on your initial application may help you avoid the necessity of an appeal.

How you can prove your case

The SSA holds to a very specific definition of disability. While you may think that you have a valid claim to SSD benefits, the SSA may disagree. There are things that you can do to strengthen your initial claim and give you a better chance of a successful claim, including:

  • You must gather all medical records and documentation that prove your condition. It can also be useful to include proof of your health history and the difference in your condition since the onset of your disability.
  • Secure notes from all of the doctors you see, as well as any other type of health care provider who can vouch for your current physical or mental condition.
  • Do your homework to determine if your disability meets the necessary requirements, and secure help for the application process.

Understanding SSD eligibility requirements is the first step in the benefits claims process. After that, you would be wise to put great care in your application, including all documentation necessary to prove that you have a genuine disability and valid need for financial support.

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