Published on: August 20, 2014
In all disability claims, there is no single factor that decides whether or not applicants will receive the benefits they need. Decisions regarding benefits are made with everything about a disability kept in mind; this includes the proper documentation, extent of a disability and work history
Because of this, applicants have the most potential for success when they take all of these unique factors into account, and understand how small changes can affect their disability benefit applications. In most cases, contacting a professional disability expert is a crucial step that many applicants fail to do; one that winds up costing them their benefits.
1.) The Extent of Your Condition
When trying to get the disability benefits you need, the first factor affecting your eligibility concerns the state of your condition, and how it is professionally classified. It all comes down to how you condition is defined in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book; the guide describing what medical conditions are classified as “disabilities.
This is because, simply not all conditions classify as a disability, and the SSA’s Blue Book often makes learning your condition’s classification difficult. Since meeting the Blue Book’s disability criteria is a prime indicator of your status, understanding the criteria set in the Blue Book is an essential early step of applying for disability.
2.) Evidence, Evidence, Evidence
In many cases, the most notable factor in your disability claim will be the amount of evidence you provide to support your claim; to get the proper benefits you need, your claim and disability must to sufficiently documented by medical sources, such as licensed doctors or certified medical professionals.
When seeking the disability benefits you need, having the proper documentation and evidence on hand can essentially make your entire case. Be sure to keep a record of everything you submit in addition to any official medical documents regarding your disability.
3.) Prior Work History
One area many disability applicants undervalue when submitting their applications is their job history; to get the full disability benefits you need, you’ll have to complete both a recent work test and a duration of work test.
In a recent work test, you will be required to have worked 5 years under Social Security in the 10 years prior to the year in which you became disabled. If you have done so, you will be determined to have achieved Disability Insured Status. Similar to a recent work test, in a duration of work test, you must have worked and paid into Social Security for a fixed amount of time total prior to becoming disabled. If you have done so, you will be determined to have achieved Fully Insured Status.
4.) The Length of Your Disability
Along with your work history, to get the disability benefits you need, you’ll have to have clear and full documentation of your condition’s history; the onset, duration and current state of the disability for which you’re seeking benefits. Like any other benefiit program, the strongest asset you can have is documentation.
For disability benefits, you must qualify with a condition expected to last at least one year, or one that has existed already for one year’s time or is expected to result in death. Temporary injuries and conditions are not sufficient to be awarded disability benefits.
If your condition has lasted or will last one year, and it affects your work, there’s a good chance you are eligible for disability benefits; to make sure, contact a social security professional right away.
5.) How the SSA Handles Your Case
Other seemingly small factors that affect your eligibility for disability benefits come from how the SSA views and makes decisions regarding your case. When the SSA makes a final decision regarding a disability case, they view treatment, medical tests and records, the effects of your condition on daily activities and work with the utmost scrutiny. After all, benefits are only provided to those truly deserving of them.
The SSA may contact your doctor or health care provider for more detailed information regarding your condition, and a state agency may actually request that you visit a health professional for a special examination called a Consultative Examination. Try contacting a disability benefit expert in your area to determine how the SSA will likely handle your case.
6.) Local Qualifications for Disability
Going beyond our last point, many applicants for disability are surprised with how much local state laws and agencies can affect the disability application process (and final decision).
Even if the SSA decides your condition merits disability benefits through the Social Security program, the ultimate decision resides with agencies in your state. For example, state agencies in Florida may request extra examinations or information from your doctor, or even require that you visit a doctor chosen by them. These agencies collect and review all the facts and relevant documentation regarding your condition, and make the ultimate final decision regarding your benefits at the first two levels of adjudication.
7.) Speaking With an Expert
Probably the most beneficial step you can take when applying for disability benefits in Florida is seeking the help of an expert. More goes into final disability benefit decisions than you may anticipate, and a full understanding of the application process and your eligibility can be the foundation of your entire case.
By hiring someone who understands the way the SSA works and how they determine benefit eligibility, you’ll stand a much greater chance of getting the appropriate benefits you need. Contact the Disability Experts of Florida today for a free initial consultation, and learn more about how your unique condition would likely be handled by the SSA and state agencies.