While the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a crucial lifeline for many disabled Nevada residents, it can be difficult to actually get the benefits you need. The SSA is extremely strict and precise about how it defines its criteria for various benefits programs. Anyone who is unable to prove that they meet those requirements is likely to be denied access to benefits, even if they should be eligible.
While qualifying for Social Security disability in Summerlin is technically a matter of objective fact, there is a lot of subjectivity in the process. Having help from a seasoned SSDI lawyer can be key to achieving a positive result. Here is a brief overview of how the SSA approaches eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), as well as how a dedicated SSDI lawyer could help you prove that you meet the requirements.
Meeting the Disability Requirements for SSDI Benefits
The SSA uses a five-step process to determine whether someone is “disabled” enough to be eligible for SSDI benefits, and an unsatisfactory answer at any point in this process could lead to an application being denied.
- First, the SSA will determine whether an applicant is currently performing “substantial gainful activity.” As of 2023, this is interpreted as earning more than $1,470 per month for most people or $2,460 per month for individuals who are blind. Anyone who is earning more than these amounts is immediately declared ineligible for SSDI benefits.
- Next, the Disability Determination Services office looks to determine whether the applicant’s condition substantially limits their ability to perform basic work-related tasks. They will continue to do this for a minimum of 12 months. After that, they will check whether the applicant’s condition is on the SSA’s list of qualifying medical conditions.
- If an applicant’s condition is not on this list, the DDS office then determines whether the applicant’s condition prevents them from doing work they previously did.
- The last step in the process is checking whether the applicant can do any other type of work despite their condition.
- If the DDS office determines that the applicant can work with these criteria in mind, they will generally rule that the applicant does not have a disability that qualifies them for SSDI benefits.
A Summerville attorney could provide more information on what it takes to qualify for social security disability.
How Do Work Credits Factor Into a Social Security Disability Application?
The SSA tracks whether someone has paid enough into the Social Security system in the form of income taxes to qualify for SSDI benefits by translating work income into “credits.” Most people need at least 40 total work credits to qualify for Social Security disability in Summerlin, Rhodes Ranch, Sovana, or elsewhere in Nevada, and at least 20 of those credits must have been earned in the ten years immediately prior to when they become disabled. As a qualified SSDI attorney could explain, individuals who became disabled when they were young may have less strict credit requirements applied to them.
A Summerlin Attorney Could Explain Qualifying for Social Security Disability in More Detail
Even if you meet all the criteria listed above for SSDI eligibility, proving your qualifications to the SSA can be a long, complex, and evidence-intensive process. Guidance from legal counsel can be vital not only to understanding and getting through the process as quickly as possible, but also maximizing your chances of a favorable final result.
A knowledgeable lawyer at Shook & Stone could answer any questions you have about qualifying for Social Security disability in Summerlin during a free consultation. Call today to schedule yours.