How does the SSA determine a disability exists?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2021 | Social Security Disability

Getting approval of a Social Security Disability claim in New York can be a long and frustrating experience for some claimants. It typically takes between 18 and 24 months before the entire process is completed unless the applicant has an undeniable injury or disease that is already listed for approval. Even when immediately qualified, the process can still include a denial on the initial application so a hearing may be scheduled. The SSA only awards permanent disability for those eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance based on their tax payment records while working. Those who cannot qualify for SSDI can still be awarded Supplemental Security Income but the rules and regulations for maintaining eligibility differ significantly. Both case types are assessed by the same disability determination process, but SSI is reevaluated annually.

Qualifying by the Blue Book

The SSA maintains a registry of illnesses and injuries that automatically qualify applicants for Social Security Disability. However, immediate approval is not always the result when a medical issue is evaluated. Age makes a major difference for claimants who qualify for SSDI because it is a permanent ruling.

Proving disability through appeals

The most common path for most disability recipients is through the appeals process. The SSA is very technical in its approach when awarding claims, and the appeals process allows each claimant an in-depth evaluation of their personal disability. Each case is unique in some aspect because most claimants actually have other medical issues impacting their primary medical problem. Social Security Disability attorneys must prove that repercussions of each medical issue combined is the equivalent of a medical disorder that is listed in the Blue Book. The SSA then rules according to a totality of the debilitating circumstances.

The rules and regulations governing SSA disability claims are extensive and complicated, as most applicants soon learn. It is always best to retain a New York disability legal professional who understands what the SSA wants in terms of proof that a medical issue impedes the claimant from earning a substantive living wage through gainful employment.