Qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a long and complicated process. To be eligible for SSD benefits, you must have a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) and is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. To determine if you meet the SGA requirement, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at your work history and earnings. If you have worked recently and earned more than the SGA amount, you will not be eligible for SSD benefits. To qualify for SSD benefits, you must also have worked long enough and recently enough to be insured under the Social Security program. Generally, you must have worked five out of the last 10 years before you became disabled. Additionally, you must have earned a certain number of work credits, which are based on your total earnings. The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSD benefits depends on your age when you became disabled. Finally, you must provide medical evidence to the SSA that shows you have a physical or mental impairment that meets the SSA’s definition of disability. This evidence must include medical records, laboratory tests, and statements from your doctor or other medical professionals.
If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, you may be able to appeal the decision. The appeals process can be complicated and time-consuming, but it is possible to successfully appeal a denial. The first step is to request a reconsideration of your claim. This is done by filing a Request for Reconsideration form with the Social Security Administration (SSA). You must provide additional evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, doctor’s notes, and other documents. Once the SSA has received your request, they will review your case and make a decision. If your claim is still denied, you can then request a hearing before an administrative law judge. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case and provide additional evidence to support your claim. The judge will then make a decision based on the evidence presented. If the judge denies your claim, you can then appeal the decision to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review the decision and either deny or approve your claim. If your claim is approved, you will receive your benefits. If your claim is denied, you can then file a lawsuit in federal court. It is important to note that the appeals process can be lengthy and complex, so it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process.