Those with physical disabilities are the most likely to be awarded SSD physical impairment disability benefits. If you are physically impaired to the point where you cannot return to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits allow you to receive compensation for your lost wages in the form of a monthly check. Once approved, you will receive these benefits for the duration of your disability. Your physical disability must have lasted at least 12 months, is expected to last at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death.
The list of eligible impairments is long and includes disabilities affecting the respiratory system, digestive system, immune system, and musculoskeletal system. If you are seeking SSD benefits, you must be able to show that you are unable to do the work you were doing prior to the onset of your disability. You must also show that your job skills are not transferable to another type of job. It can be a long, arduous road for those seeking SSD benefits. Because of this, it can be highly beneficial to have an experienced SSD attorney by your side from start to finish. The Carmichael Law Group can help you through this difficult time, working hard on your behalf to help you receive SSD benefits for your disability.
Eligibility for Physical Impairment Disability Benefits
To qualify for SSD benefits, you must be able to show the following:
- You must prove your disability is permanent (it will last at least a year or is permanent);
- Your disability prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity;
- It would be difficult, if not impossible, for you to find a new job due to your impairment, your age, or your education (or a combination);
- You have sufficient work credits to qualify for SSD benefits, and
- The amount of money you make monthly (as of 2021) must not be more than $1,310, or $2,190 if you are blind.
If you do not work, the SSA will send your application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. The DDS will then make a determination on the condition of your health. The DDS will determine how severe your impairment is. Does your disability impair your ability to sit, walk, stand, lift, or remember things? The SSA maintains a comprehensive list of medical conditions in what is known as the “Blue Book.”
If your impairment is not on a list, the SSA will determine whether it is as serious as another condition that is on the list. Denial at the initial application stage is often due to the fact that you have not proven the severity of your disability, or do not have sufficient work credits. The process of obtaining SSD benefits can be long, complex, and frustrating. Having a knowledgeable SSD attorney from the Carmichael Law Group can help you get through the process in a much better way.
What is the Process for Applying for SSD Benefits for a Physical Impairment?
You can apply online, by phone, or in person for SSD benefits. Regardless of which method you choose, you will gather the necessary information and documents first. You will then complete your application and submit it to the SSA. Your application will be reviewed to ensure it meets basic requirements. Your work credits, as well as your current work activities will be evaluated. Your application will be processed, then sent to the Disability Determination Services office in your state. DDS will then make the decision as to whether you are approved or denied for SSD benefits.
If your original application is denied, you can request a reconsideration. Although the same office conducts the reconsideration, you may have additional information or medical records that help prove your case. If your SSD benefits are not approved during the reconsideration stage, you can request that an Administrative Law Judge hear your case. This is the stage where the most originally denied applications find approval. If an Administrated Law Judge denies your application, you have two more opportunities for appeal. SSD claims that are initially denied require a strong legal advocate for approval through appeal.
Before you complete your initial SSD application, make sure you have the following on hand:
- Your original birth certificate;
- If you were not born in the U.S., proof of U.S. citizenship;
- If you served in the military prior to 1968, U.S. military discharge papers;
- W-2’s or other self-employment tax returns for the year prior;
- And Adult Disability Report that collects details regarding your work history as well as your illnesses, injuries, or conditions;
- Names and ages of any minor children and your spouse;
- Any medical evidence you have in your possession (test results, doctors’ reports, and medical records), and
- Any proof of temporary or permanent workers’ comp benefits.
How Can You Prove Your Physical Disability Through Medical Evidence?
To receive physical impairment disability benefits, you will have to fully prove your physical disability prevents you from returning to your old job—or obtaining a new one. The more medical evidence you have proving your disability, the better. Physician notes, surgical records, hospital or emergency room records, medical tests, lab work, and any records from healthcare professionals are all crucial to proving your disability.
You must prove the severity of your physical condition by demonstrating how disabling the condition is. You do not want to exaggerate your symptoms. By the same token, you do not want to minimize actual symptoms either. If possible, obtain an updated medical statement from your doctor detailing your health and how it prevents you from performing certain work activities. Your physical disability must have prevented you from engaging in your former work for at least one year (or is expected to prevent you from working for at least one year).
If your physical disability is expected to lead to death, then that would also qualify. In addition to physical limitations, you may also have certain psychological limitations associated with your physical disability. As an example, your physical health could cause you to experience severe depression or anxiety. Just as you need all your medical records to prove your physical disability, you also need a list of the jobs you have done over the past 15 years. You will also need to detail the skills required for your past job or jobs.
What is the Blue Book and How Does It Affect My Claim?
The SSA has a list of all disabling impairments, both physical and mental. This is known as the Blue Book and lists these impairments in great detail. There are certain disabling impairments that may automatically qualify you for SSD benefits. Not only does the Blue Book contain a list of disabling impairments, but it also provides information regarding SSD and SSI programs.
The Blue Book has a significant impact on your ability to be approved for SSD benefits. Since the book is targeted toward physicians, medical personnel, and SSD professionals, it can be difficult for a layperson to understand. You may want to ask your physician or your SSD attorney to assist you in finding your qualifying disability.
If your condition is listed in the Blue Book, it inherently meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. That being said, a diagnosis of a listed condition does not automatically qualify you for SSD benefits. The Blue Book is broken down into three basic sections. Part One contains general information describing the program, procedures for claims, and the role of medical professionals. Part Two contains evidentiary requirements—the types of paperwork, medical examinations, and other evidence required for approval. Part Three of the Blue Book lists all the impairments that currently meet the disability standards for adults (Part A) or children (Part B).
Specific Physical Impairments That Qualify for Physical Impairment Disabilities
Although the list of physical impairments in the Blue Book is long and extensive, below are just a few of the physical impairments that qualify for disability benefits:
- Diabetes with neuropathy or amputation
- Shoulder, feet, and ankle injuries
- Blindness and Visual impairments
- Deaf and Hearing impairments
- Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cancer and Leukemia
- Crohn’s Disease and Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Asthma and COPD
- Black Lung Disease
- Heart Attack and Coronary Artery Disease
- Hip or Knee Replacement
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
- Neurological Conditions
- Epilepsy Back and
- Spine Injuries
How an SSD Attorney from the Carmichael Law Group Can Help
If you are seeking physical impairment disability benefits, having a strong legal advocate from the Carmichael Law Group can immensely improve your chances of approval. We have extensive experience helping others just like you obtain the disability benefits they need and deserve. As a nationwide disability law firm, we are dedicated to helping you and your family through this difficult time. We can help you face the disability process, taking the burden from your shoulders and allowing you to deal with your physical or mental disability while we work to get you approved for SSD benefits. Contact the Carmichael Law Group today!