What Injuries Qualify People to Receive Social Security Disability?

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If you suffered an injury that prevents you from working, you will need to know what injuries qualify people to receive Social Security Disability before you and your Social Security Disability lawyer in Rock Hill determine if you can apply for benefits. A qualifying injury will:

  • Seriously affect your working ability for at least a year, if not longer
  • Prevent you from earning above a certain amount
  • Produce sufficient qualifying evidence from sources like your doctor and your employer

Injury Duration and Social Security Disability

Per the Social Security Administration (SSA), a condition is “disabling” if it meets the following criteria. It must:

  • Be permanent,
  • Be expected to cause your death, or
  • Continuously affect your life for at least 12 months.

For example, a broken leg that heals completely within four months is not a disability for the SSA’s purposes. If your leg had to be amputated or you suffered permanent nerve damage, that is a disability.

The exact criteria may vary from condition to condition. A Social Security Disability attorney can help you determine if your diagnosed injury aligns with the SSA’s qualifying criteria for a disability.

Examples of Injuries that Qualify People for Social Security Disability

You could receive disability benefits if your injury’s symptoms fall under one of the categories in the SSA’s Blue Book, a listing of impairments. These include:

  • Injuries that cause loss of sight, hearing, or speech
  • Amputations
  • Back injuries
  • Joint injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries that require surgery

This is not an exhaustive list of qualifying injuries. To know for sure if your injury qualifies you for benefits, you can go to a doctor for an official diagnosis and then talk to a Social Security Disability lawyer about your case.

Can Mental Illness Qualify People for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Mental health disorders can have just as destructive an impact on your working life as any physical injury, whether trauma or genetics causes them. Mental health conditions such as depression can qualify you for benefits. Proving your eligibility might not be easy, but a law firm can assist you.

Getting Medical Help Before Applying for Disability Benefits

It is natural to be concerned about your family’s financial well-being after your injury. The moment you realize you cannot work, you may be tempted to start the disability benefits application process immediately.

However, you should complete other tasks before seeking benefits. These are:

  • Getting medical help promptly. Your health should always come first. In addition, a prompt diagnosis can make the application process easier.
  • Doing what your doctor says and completing your prescribed treatment. This can minimize your pain and show the SSA you suffered an injury.
  • Speaking to a disability benefits law firm. A lawyer who has managed disability cases before will know more about the complexities of the Social Security Disability benefits application process than you do, and they can make pursuing benefits easier to manage.

Social Security Disability and Income Limits

Suffering an injury does not mean you automatically meet the SSA’s definition of disabled. For example, say you are in a motor vehicle accident that leaves you paralyzed from the waist down. This is undoubtedly a major injury, but if you are an office worker who can continue to do your job with reasonable accommodations, you cannot receive disability benefits.

The maximum amount you can earn while still receiving disability benefits depends on:

  • Your marital status: The maximum amount allowed may depend on how much you and your spouse earn together, not just how much you make alone.
  • The year: The SSA usually increases its income limits each year. You will have to remain below each year’s maximum to continue receiving benefits.
  • The benefits you receive: The main two types of disability benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Each type has its own requirements.

If your injury does not stop you from earning more than the maximum amount that SSA allows, then you cannot receive benefits. Injuries that qualify people to receive Social Security Disability benefits must prevent them from earning more than the income limits the SSA sets each year.

Finding a New Job After an Injury

Even if your injury costs you your job, the SSA might still determine that you do not qualify for benefits. Why? After looking at the evidence, it may tell you:

  • Your injury does not prevent you from finding a job similar to the one you lost.
  • You have or can acquire other skills that would allow you to enter a new occupational field.
  • You are earning more than the maximum amount allowed through a second job, stocks and investments, real estate holdings, or support from friends and family.

The injury alone is not enough to entitle you to disability benefits. A Social Security Disability law firm can help you prove you meet the SSA’s definition of disability and its income requirements.

Proving Your Injury Entitles You to Social Security Disability Benefits

One benefit of hiring a Social Security Disability attorney is they can manage your entire case. You would no longer have to be solely responsible for:

  • Figuring out if you qualify for Disability benefits and, if so, which benefits you should apply for
  • Filling out the correct paperwork and submitting it within the applicable deadlines
  • Determining what medical evidence the SSA will find convincing and relevant
  • Following up with the SSA to ensure your application was received and/or to figure out why your claim has been delayed or denied
  • Attending virtual or in-person hearings if the SSA rejects your application

In addition, a disability benefits lawyer can be there for you whenever you need answers to legal questions or guidance with tough challenges, like navigating the appeals process for a claim denial.

Does Your Injury Qualify You to Receive Social Security Disability? We Can Help Determine That

Schiller & Hamilton understands how difficult it can be to navigate the application process, especially when you are managing a medical condition. You do not have to go it alone: contact our firm today for a free case review.

Our legal team can tell you what injuries qualify people to receive Social Security Disability and how you can apply for assistance.

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