Becoming disabled can lead to loss of income, which can set back a family, especially if the disabled person is the breadwinner. When this happens, you can file for disability benefits. To be eligible for disability benefits, you need to show proof of a medical issue that prevents you from working. The medical impairments can be either physical or mental. For the impairment to be considered severe, it must affect your ability to do work or basic everyday chores.
Duration requirement is an essential factor to consider when filing for disability benefits. To be eligible for disability benefits, the disability needs to have lasted at least a year or proven that it will last for a year. Duration and medical conditions are proved using medical records. The medical records need to show a history of treatment, a patient’s response to treatment, and the doctor’s diagnosis.
How to qualify for disability
There are two significant ways to qualify for disability benefits. The first is by providing medical evidence that you have one or more conditions that qualify as a disability. A listing is a specific physical or mental condition that is in the social security list of impairments. The listing has all the impairments and the approval criteria for disability.
When you are approved through a listing, the case is decided based on the medical evidence. Therefore, it becomes unnecessary to review the work history of the claimant. It is important to note that social security listings are very specific and that some cases may not be approved.
Another way to qualify for disability is through a medical-vocational allowance. Most claims are approved this way. The allowance includes a review of the medical evidence. Once the review is done, the examiner or judge will rate the claimant’s functional abilities. The functional abilities include how long the claimant can stand, sit, walk, carry, lift objects, or reach for objects.
The residential functional capacity assessment (RFC) is then compared to the claimant's jobs in the past years. If the claimant’s abilities have decreased based on their work history, they will be given the disability benefits. However, this is only awarded if the decision-maker concludes that the claimant cannot switch to a different type of work. In many cases, it is determined that the claimant can do a different type of work, which makes it difficult to enter the Social Security Disability program.
Many claims in IOWA are denied at the initial claim level. However, some become approved after filing appeals or pushing their cases to administrative law judges. Reconsideration needs to be done at the right time, within 60 days after the first application is denied. SSA gives an extra five days’ allowance for mailing time.
To avoid missing the appeal deadline, contact the social security office after sending the appeal paperwork to confirm receipt of paperwork. Keep duplicate records of the paperwork for future reference. In most cases, the Social Security office sends a verification code informing the claimant that they received the appeal.