When it comes to Social Security Disability, the hardest parts are figuring out how you qualify, how to apply and waiting for a response. It’s a slow moving, bureaucratic process where applicants feel lost in the shuffle.
There are two major items to consider, based on your age. Applicants over 50 must prove they can no longer work at their current occupation. Those under 50 encounter rules that are more stringent: proving an inability to perform any job–not just in your current field.
What are the most common injuries?
To get a better understanding of what SSD covers, it’s helpful to review the data. No list will be a perfect match for your individual situation, but reviewing common injuries will help to see how you fit.
According to reports by the Social Security Administration, the leading injuries covered are:
- Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
- Mental disorders
- Nervous system and sensory organs
- Circulatory system
- Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases
Musculoskeletal conditions are most common–including debilitating diagnosis like arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and back pain. While these conditions top the list, there is no universal list of approved ailments. SSD covers a wide variety of issues, ranging from respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive to immune system disorders and issues that affect multiple parts of the body. It’s common that recipients suffer a combination of ailments in order to quality.
Describing your condition on paper
An application itself can take months and even years to work through the system, and appeals are very common. Waiting for an approval is likely to put undue stress on your home life and finances. If you believe you qualify for SSD, you’ll want swift action to get your application approved.
The Social Security Administration uses a five-step process to determine disability, measuring your ability to do your old job or any other kind of work, whether highly skilled or minimum wage. When applying for SSD, it’s essential that you list how your injuries affect your ability to work. Supplying medical charts isn’t enough. Instead, you need to show why you are unable to work.
An application for relief
SSD provides income for those who are unable to work, some relief from a painful burden. The challenge is defining the true severity of your injuries. You can benefit by working with an attorney who understands SSD and has experience with SSA’s processes, knowing how to describe your medical conditions in terminology that relates to your ability to work.