Written by attorney Brent Adams

Social Security Disability Rules and Regulations You Should Know

Social Security Disability (SSD) is a specialized area of law with its own rules and regulations. If you are not familiar with them you can easily be denied benefits. Seventy-eight percent of the claimants who apply for Social Security disability benefits are initially rejected.

North Carolina claimants can improve these statistics through diligence in complying with SSD rules and regulations, and, if denied benefits, by getting help from a Dunn Social Security disability attorney.

What the Social Security Act Requires

The Social Security Act defines disability as “the inability to do any substantial gainful activity because of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months."

In determining whether a person has a disability that meets the definition of disability in accordance with the Social Security Act, SSA has established a review process that analyzes each application using the following five questions:

  1. Is the Social Security disability applicant working?

Specifically the SSA looks to your average monthly earnings after claiming a disability. If you earnings are above the established threshold ($1,010 a month in 2012), the SSA will deny the claim because according to the rules, you are engaged in “substantial gainful activity."

  1. Is the applicant’s condition severe?

SSA rules require that your “condition interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered." If your condition, does not meet this severity test, then your claim will be denied.

  1. Is the applicant’s condition found on the list of qualifying disabling conditions?

If your condition meets the severity test, you still need to quantify the severity to SSA’s satisfaction. As a shortcut, SSA has developed a list of medical conditions that are so considered so severe that they automatically qualify you for Social Security disability. If your affliction is not on the list, then you have to convince SSA that your affliction in comparable in severity to something that is on the list. This can be difficult—think about comparing apples to oranges.

  1. Is the applicant able to resume prior work?

In its investigation, SSA will probe the last 15 years of your work history to determine whether your condition prevents you from resuming prior work “as you did it or as is generally done in the national economy."

  1. Can you do any other type of work?

If you can’t do prior work, the last rule and regulation hurdle you need to jump over is proving that you can’t adjust to do any other type of work. For this analysis, SSA will consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills. If you can transition into another job—no matter whether if its suits you or not—your claim for disability will be denied.

Can you afford to be another denied claim statistic?

With the denial of disability claims averaging 53 percent after all appeals have been exhausted, you need a Dunn Social Security disability attorney at your side to fight these statistics. The attorneys of Brent & Adams Associates are energetic, aggressive, and compassionate advocates. We are ready to help you exercise your rights and claim your benefits under Social Security. Call 910-892-8177 or 800-849-5931 today for a free consultation.

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