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How Do I Qualify for SSD?

January 05, 2024

How Do I Qualify for SSD?

You may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you suffer a disability before you retire from work. Workers who are disabled or blind are legally entitled to SSD benefits. However, they must meet specific eligibility requirements:

Among all these qualification requirements, the hardest to meet is proving that you have a qualified disability.

How The SSA Will Determine Whether or Not You Are Disabled

According to the SSA, you will be considered disabled if you are incapable of performing your previous work or other substantial jobs because you are mentally or physically impaired. Your condition must be documented and diagnosed by a doctor and persist or is expected to persist for 12 months or more or end in death. When determining whether an applicant meets its disability definition, the SSA employs an assessment system primarily made up of five questions:

  1. Are you currently working and engaging in substantial gainful activity? You will not be considered disabled if the answer to this question is yes, regardless of your medical condition.
  2. Do you have a severe medical condition or combination of conditions that you expect to persist for a year or end in death that considerably limits your ability to perform basic work tasks? If this doesn’t apply to your case, you will not be considered disabled.
  3. Is your medical condition equal to or the same as a condition found in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments? If the answer to this question is no, the SSA will further evaluate your claim. If yes, the SSA will consider you disabled and automatically presume your condition is so severe that you wouldn’t be capable of performing gainful activity.
  4. What is your residual functional capacity? The SSA must determine whether you have adequate physical and mental capacity to perform your previous work. The SSA will further assess your claim if the answer to this question is no. If yes, you are not considered disabled.
  5. Are you capable of doing any other kind of work? The SSA will consider your age, condition, work experience, education, and applicable transferable skills. If it determines that you can perform other work, the SSA will deny your claim because you don’t meet their disability definition. On the other hand, if you cannot perform other work, the SSA will approve your claim for SSD benefits.

Need more information on how to apply and qualify for SSD in Tennessee? Reach out to the TN SSD lawyer at Raybin & Weissman. We can also help you appeal a denied SSD claim. To schedule your free case consultation with our TN SSD lawyer, please call 615-256-6666 or reach us online.