Social Security Disability benefits provide valuable and necessary financial assistance for thousands of individuals. Navigating the extensive Findlay Social Security Disability eligibility requirements is complex and there is a range of criteria that must be met in order to qualify for benefits. At Schaffer & Associates LPA, we work closely with Social Security Disability applicants to obtain the benefits they need and deserve. Qualifying for Social Security Disability in Findlay is complicated, but we are here to help. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting us at (419) 359-8091 today.
What Are the Findlay Social Security Disability Requirements?
To qualify for Social Security Disability and receive benefits, you must first meet the necessary eligibility requirements. A person is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if they:
- Worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security
- Have a medical condition rendering them incapable of substantial gainful activity for at least a twelve (12) month duration
While these are the two most basic eligibility criteria, it can be quite difficult to prove that you fully meet these requirements. Each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and there are several Social Security Administration officials evaluating different parts of each claim. This means that Findlay residents must gather as much evidence as possible to prove their claim. It should also be noted that the requirements are the same across Ohio and the country.
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability in Findlay
As mentioned, to qualify for Social Security Disability, an individual must meet the two Findlay Social Security Disability requirements. Navigating these eligibility requirements is not always straightforward, however, and it is important to understand exactly what these requirements entail. To qualify for Social Security Disability, you must meet the necessary work-related and medical requirements set forth by the Social Security Administration. This must be proven through comprehensive evidence and documentation including details of your disability, medical records, test results, treatment reports, and tax returns for prior years.
What Are Social Security Disability Qualifying Conditions?
The second Findlay Social Security Disability requirement involves proving that you have a qualifying medical condition. The Social Security program has a different definition of disability than other programs, in that benefits are only paid for total disability. This is different from programs such as Ohio workers’ compensation, for instance, which awards benefits for partial disability as well. When a person applies for Social Security Disability benefits, the Ohio Division of Disability Determination is responsible for determining medical eligibility for Findlay-based applicants.
Every year, thousands of Social Security Disability applications are denied for medical reasons. An overwhelming majority of the 67% of application denials happen because a person does not meet the necessary medical requirements to receive benefits. For this reason, it is important to fully understand how disability is determined for the purposes of Social Security Disability. At Schaffer & Associates LPA, we work with you to gather the necessary evidence and documentation to prove your medical condition and ensure that the Findlay Social Security Disability requirements are met.
What Medical Conditions Qualify You for Disability?
The Social Security Administration provides a list of conditions that qualify a person for disability. To be eligible for benefits, you must prove that your disability is a medically determinable impairment and prevents you from working at full capacity. In other words, your condition must be severe enough that you are unable to pursue gainful activities such as working and performing daily activities.
Social Security officials will evaluate the symptoms and effects of your particular condition, or combination of conditions, to determine whether you are eligible for disability benefits. Qualifying conditions are divided into fourteen categories, all of which represent different types of disorders and diseases. These include:
- Musculoskeletal disorders, such as spine or joint injuries
- Special senses and speech, such as hearing or vision loss
- Respiratory diseases, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis
- Conditions of the cardiovascular system, such as congenital heart disease or heart failure
- Digestive system disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease
- Genitourinary disorders involving the urinary and genital organs
- Hematological disorders such as chronic anemia or myelofibrosis
- Skin disorders like dermatitis or chronic skin infection
- Endocrine disorders including diabetes or thyroid gland disorders
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
- Neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, or cerebral palsy
- Mental disorders
- Immune system disorders such as lupus or HIV infection
If your medical condition falls into one of these categories, you may qualify for disability benefits. Additionally, if you suffer from multiple conditions, the overall combination of effects may be enough to render you disabled in the eyes of the Social Security Administration. The Findlay Social Security Disability requirements are strict, however, and it must be proven that your condition(s) is both serious and debilitating. You must also prove that your condition is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
What Mental Health Issues Qualify You for Social Security Disability?
There are certain mental health issues that may qualify you for disability benefits based on the criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration. These mental health issues include:
- Anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress, agoraphobia, and panic disorders
- Personality disorders
- Schizophrenia, paranoia, and other psychotic disorders
- Autism and related disorders
- Affective disorders such as bipolar disorder
Mental health issues vary widely in terms of severity and symptoms. The Social Security Administration lists different categories of mental disorders that they recognize as disabling. As always, however, it is necessary to provide extensive medical records regarding the diagnosis and treatment of the illness.
What Conditions Automatically Qualify You for Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Administration considers some conditions to be especially severe. These conditions will qualify a person for expedited processing and significantly reduce the time it takes to get approved for disability benefits. The Compassionate Allowances List includes the conditions that automatically qualify a person for Social Security Disability, which include but are not limited to:
- Certain cancers like esophageal cancer, small cell cancer of the lungs, prostate, or female genital tract, and some types of pancreatic cancer
- Amyotrophic lateral scoliosis (ALS)
- Some types of muscular dystrophy and muscular atrophy
- Early onset Alzheimer’s disease
- Sarcomatoid mesothelioma
There are many specific conditions listed under the Compassionate Allowances List. If you have one of these conditions, your application will automatically be flagged for expedited processing. Consider seeking legal assistance to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability in Findlay with a Compassionate Allowances condition.
Are There Any Non-Medical Requirements for Social Security Disability?
To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must also meet certain non-medical requirements. Specifically, a person must have recently worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security. Social Security is a federal program that uses taxes paid into a fund to provide benefits to eligible people. As such, a person is eligible to receive these benefits if they worked and paid Social Security taxes for a sufficient amount of time.
A person must earn at least 40 Social Security credits to qualify for disability benefits. Credits are earned by working and paying taxes. Credits are based on an individual’s total wages or annual self-employment income. The amount of earnings that comprise a work credit is subject to change each year. In 2023, one work credit is earned for each $1,640 of earnings. A maximum of 4 work credits can be earned per year.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability in Findlay requires that an individual meets the requirements of both the recent work and duration work tests. The recent work test looks at how recently a person has worked and contributed to Social Security. This depends on age and is assessed as follows:
- Individuals under the age of 24 must prove that they have 6 work credits earned in the 3 years prior to when their disability began.
- Individuals between the ages of 24 and 31 must prove that they worked at least half the time between age 21 and the time the disability began. So, a 31-year-old person must have worked for at least five years.
- Individuals aged 31 and over must prove that they have 40 work credits earned in the 10 years prior to when the disability began.
If an individual can prove that their work history meets the requirements of this two-part test, and has a qualifying medical condition, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Generally, if you worked full-time regularly in the last five years you will meet this requirement.
If you are unsure, you can contact your local Social Security office and ask for your date of last insured or DLI. If this date has not passed, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability. If your DLI has expired, you may be limited to filing for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. Your attorney can provide further information on the Findlay Social Security Disability eligibility requirements and how to evaluate your work history to qualify for benefits.
Contact Schaffer & Associates, LPA Today
At Schaffer & Associates LPA, we believe that disabled workers should have access to the financial assistance that they deserve. If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, seeking legal assistance can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. To confirm that you meet the extensive Findlay Social Security Disability requirements and begin building your case today, consider scheduling a free consultation with us at (419) 359-8091.