What Are Your Chances of Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

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What Are Your Chances of Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?


Perhaps you are suffering from a severe injury that compromises your ability to earn a living. Or perhaps you are suffering from an illness that is severe so that you cannot work or have limited capacity to work. Maybe you have some other disability, either physical or psychological, that inhibits your ability to earn cash. You may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI benefits.


It is not easy to obtain SSDI benefits. Statistically, three out of every 10 SSDI applicants are rejected during the first application. There are no hard deadlines for application approval, though typically, applicants receive feedback three to four months after submitting an application. As such, it is critical to have strong representation when filing for SSDI benefits so you can easily attain relief and not be stuck in the application process.


Social Security Disability Insurance


Congress created the Social Security Administration, or SSA, at the behest of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935. Eventually, through President Richard M. Nixon’s signing SSDI into law, the SSA started administering SSDI benefits to help those who are suffering and cannot earn a living. The SSDI benefits program is funded by payroll taxes through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA.


However, there are rules, regulations, and guidelines for Americans to qualify for SSDI. These rules, regulations, and guidelines can be rigid and may overwhelm those applying. Navigating SSDI can be difficult. This paper discusses the chances of qualifying for SSDI.


List of Impairments that Qualify for SSDI


The SSA has a list of impairments that automatically qualify for SSDI benefits. If you are suffering from one of these conditions or ailments and you documented how and why you suffer from them, then you should easily gain approval from the SSA. Those conditions and ailments include:

  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Hematological system
  • Special senses and speech
  • Digestive system
  • Skin disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Endocrine disorders.

If you suffer from one of those impairments and you are unable to work or have limited working ability, then your odds of qualifying are very high. If not, you may still qualify but would need to produce more evidence to convince the SSA that you are worthy of SSDI benefits.


Regular Doctor Visits


The SSA will determine your eligibility, in large part, based on your medical history. The belief is that disabilities that compromise your ability to work require significant medical attention. As such, if you have a long history of regular physician visits, then your chances of obtaining SSDI is high. If not, your chances are much lower because there will be questions about your lack of medical attention.


Substantial Gainful Activity


Another SSA requirement for eligibility is that you are not performing or capable of performing substantial gainful activity, or SGA. As mentioned in a previous post, SGA is that you are able to perform significant activity for pay over a period of time or that you are capable of performing such activity. If you earn more than $1,150 per month or $1,950 per month if you are blind then the SSA considers that you can perform SGA and therefore not eligible.


If you are not earning that amount but are still working, then there will be questions. Your odds of qualifying are lower. The SSA may consider you someone who can perform SGA and are using your disability as an excuse for not reaching SGA. The determination will depend on the severity of your disability and the type of work that you do. Also, the SSA will consider your prior work history and skills that you acquired over the years. These factors can significantly hurt your chances of qualifying.


Similarly, even if you do volunteer work and the volunteer work suggests that you can perform SGA, then your chances of procuring SSDI benefits lowers dramatically. For instance, you volunteer as an EMT for your local ambulance squad. You are the driver and frequently spend many hours driving the ambulance at night. It is plausible to suggest that the SSA can view this as an ability to be an Uber driver and therefore claim that you can perform at an SGA level.


If your disability has long prevented you from working at all, then you have strong odds of satisfying the SGA requirement.


If you are disabled but work and earn income above the threshold, then you may still qualify for SSDI if the employment is “subsidized employment.” That is to say; if a friend or neighbor or someone with a big heart hires you and pays you more than average for that job because the employer feels for you, then you may still qualify for SSDI because the compensation is considered subsidized and not based strictly on the job performed. When this occurs, you may have significant hurdles in obtaining SSDI benefits because there are red flags about your income. When this occurs, you would need to submit all of your medical information, a statement from the employer about the nature of the job and how it is subsidized, and documentation explaining why your compensation is not in-line with market rates for the same work performed.



Contact an Experienced Philadelphia Injury Attorney Today


Navigating the SSDI system is complex. If you have been injured or otherwise suffer from a disability, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. However, obtaining those benefits is not easy. You need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who knows the SSDI qualifications process. Contact the Philadelphia law firm of Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo at 800-942-9640 to learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and how it can help you.

Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo
Krasno, Krasno & OnwudinjoAbout the author

Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo have been serving injured Pennsylvania workers since 1936. If you have been injured on the job or are seeking Social Security benefits, call us today for a FREE no obligation consultation.