Determining whether a Portland resident is qualified for Social Security Disability is a 5-step process that measures a person’s ability against the ability to work. An employed individual earning at least $1,000 a month, in most cases, falls outside the threshold. For those applicants with certain recognized medical conditions, disability is guaranteed. For most, the determination process takes longer.
Disability severity is compared in relation to how a person’s condition interferes with job performance. Social Security standards consider a severely disabled person as one whose disability impedes or altogether prevents them from performing work-related duties. The Social Security Administration also maintains an extensive list of “Compassionate Allowances” which are diagnosed medical conditions that are so debilitating that disability qualification becomes automatic. For disabilities excluded from the list, determination is a lengthier procedure, requiring more proof of seriousness and long-term effects.
Because a disability determination is tied to workplace ability, an applicant’s work history is examined to find out if the applicant’s disability qualifies for Social Security benefits. Factors that are considered include the physical strength and mental abilities required for an applicant’s past relevant work experience and the length of the applicant’s work history.
Applicants who satisfactorily show that they are incapable of performing their past relevant work are considered disabled. However, disability benefits will be denied if the administration believes that the applicant can retrain for other types of work.
An experienced Social Security Disability Benefits attorney can help an applicant determine whether he or she is disabled and properly guide the applicant through the process of obtaining benefits.
Source: The United States Social Security Administration, “How We Decide If You Are Disabled.”