When an individual is injured, varying degrees of disability may result. In some cases, the disability may be only short term while other cases may be permanent. In either instance, the injured person may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance.
The process for determining eligibility is lengthy and complicated. Many individuals filing disability claims are initially denied benefits; however, consulting with The Law Office of Michael J. McDonough, a Disability Attorney in Chicago can help facilitate the filing process. In order to decide if a person is disabled and entitled to benefits, the Social Security Administration utilizes a five step process based on a series of crucial questions.
1) Are you working?
First, the Social Security Administration will ask the applicant if he is currently working. If the answer is “yes” and the individual is earning more than $1,040 per month, he is typically not considered disabled and is deemed ineligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. If neither is the case, the Administration proceeds to step 2.
2) Is your condition severe?
In order to be considered severe, the person’s injury must hamper his ability to perform basic work related activities. If the applicant is able to perform his job as well as before his injury, he is not considered disabled. If his injury does interfere with his job, step three comes into play.
3) Is your condition among those on the list of disabling conditions?
The Social Security Administration retains a list of conditions that are automatically disabling, including acute leukemia and pancreatic cancer. If the applicant’s condition is not on the list, the Administration will compare the condition to those that are on the list. This will allow them to determine if the condition is of equal severity to the others. If the condition is not equally severe, they will move on to step four.
4) Can you perform the job you held previously?
If the applicant can, the claim will be denied. If not, the final question will be considered.
5) Can you perform any other type of work?
If the applicant can perform a different job, the claim may be denied. If not, he may be eligible for benefits.
With the help of a disability attorney, such as those at the Law Office of Michael J. McDonough, an injured person can successfully file a disability claim. If denied, the attorney can help the injured person explore other compensation options.