Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

How the SSA determines eligibility for disability benefits

It can feel like a tough break to suffer an injury on-the-job. It can be hard enough to make it to work able-bodied these days! An injury can make it almost impossible for a person to work and earn a living wage. For long-term injuries, those that are longer than one year, a person may want to consider how Social Security Disability benefits for injuries could impact their life in a positive way.

If you the worker are considering it, you can ask the Social Security Administration to consider it too. However, the SSA has strict guidelines when it comes to issuing SSD benefits. An actual disability must impede a person's ability to work, not only at their old or current position, but be unable to complete substantial work at other places of employment. The severity of impairment that affects how a person's ability to sit, stand, walk or even communicate will play into how the SSA makes a decision about a person's eligibility to receive SSD benefits.

Beyond a person's eligibility, they must also prove the existence of an injury or illness that directly affects the person's ability to work. That is, the medical condition or injury must be validated by a medical professional. Medical records can help to achieve the existence of injury or illness, as can a physicians note. Beyond that, one must prove that they do not have an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity, and a person's work history will be taken into consideration as well.

It can be a frustrating situation, being unable to work. Most people love to have the ability to do what they need to do and to be independent and a wage-earner. These are things that people value. That's why it can be hard to admit that you need help in the form of SSD benefits, but it could be what's best for you and your family.

Source:, "Are you eligible for Social Security Disability?" Accessed October 3, 2017

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