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Archive for September, 2013

Qualifying for Social Security Disability

If you are wondering whether you qualify for social security disability, you may be intimidated by the complexity of the information available regarding requirements and eligibility. The fact is that social security disability is a complex and thorny system, but it does have objective standards of eligibility; knowing these is the first step to filing a successful claim and gaining disability benefits.

Eligibility for Benefits

In order to qualify for social security disability, you must be financially eligible and medically eligible. This means that you must not be working or able to work, and that your medical condition meets the documented requirements for eligibility as laid out in the “blue book.” The blue book is a document used by the social security administration to determine medical eligibility for certain disabilities. In basic terms, if you have a documented illness or condition that matches one contained in the blue book, you are medically eligible for social security disability benefits.

On the other hand, many conditions not outlined in the blue book are still valid and eligible through what is termed “functional equivalence.” Functional equivalence means that if you can show that your medical condition is, for practical purposes, identical or nearly identical to one found in the blue book, your condition should qualify you for disability benefits.

More commonly, petitioners qualify through a medical-vocational allowance, which means undergoing an assessment of your medical eligibility for work of various types. This process subjects you to a certain amount of scrutiny and evaluation in order to determine whether you meet certain levels of fitness for work, which in turn determines your eligibility for social security disability.

Determining eligibility can be tricky, but it is not the randomized roll of the dice that some make it out to be.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer

When filing for social security disability, many people wonder whether to hire a social security disability lawyer. While it is possible to file and track your claim on your own, in the vast majority of cases it is greatly advisable to hire and retain the services of a qualified social security disability lawyer to ease the process and relieve the stress of filing. Hiring a lawyer has many advantages over going through the process on your own.

Lawyer Eases Filing

A social security disability lawyer eases the filing process in many ways, not least of which is in the preparation and research involved in preparing and defending your case. A social security disability lawyer knows what those hearing your case will expect to see, and knows how to answer the questions which will be put to you at your hearing. The lawyer will help organize your case, gathering all necessary medical records and ensuring there are no holes or inconsistencies in the reports.

Retaining a lawyer is also a smart idea in terms of your overall preparedness for the hearing; a lawyer will go over likely questions, calming your nerves, and helping you to understand what the questioners will be looking for in the hearing. This service can be invaluable, as frayed nerves and stress could easily impair your ability to answer questions, and could cause you to become confused.

The biggest advantage of all in hiring a lawyer for your social security disability case is peace of mind in knowing you have put your case into the hands of a seasoned professional.

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