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Qualifying for Social Security Disability
Posted in: Social Security Disability on September 8th, 2013

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.

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