Meeting the Definition of Disability under the Law
Under the Social Security laws in the United States, individuals with certain “disabilities” qualify for compensation. There are three specific criteria for establishing your right to collect SSD benefits:
- You must be diagnosed with a mental or physical impairment
- That impairment must make it impossible for you to engage in “substantial gainful work”
- Your disability or condition must have lasted (or be expected to last) a minimum of 12 months, or must be expected to end in your death
Though it may seem clear to you that you have a physical or mental impairment, actually proving that can be challenging. Here are some guidelines to help you determine if you qualify:
- Your condition must be “medically determinable.” In essence, that means that your disability must be discovered and described by a medical professional (a doctor or physician). When you apply to the Social Security Administration, you’ll want a letter from your doctor clearly stating the nature of your medical condition and how it prevents you from working. It should also state that you will not be able to work for a minimum of 12 months.
- You must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment. It’s not enough that you can’t perform the job you had when you suffered your injury illness. The Social Security Administration will look at your training, education, work experience and age and assess whether there’s other gainful employment you can perform.
- Your disability must be expected to prevent you from working for at least a year—You don’t have to wait the year to apply for benefits, but you must have a doctor’s assessment that you will be unable to work for a year, or that your illness is terminal.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn about how we can help you with a Social Security disability claim, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all Social Security disability claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.