If you don’t happen to have a specific medical condition that will qualify you to be immediately approved for disability benefits – otherwise known as a listing – you will have to prove that you no longer have the ability to work. You will not have to prove that you are not able to work in any capacity, just that you are unable to do a considerable bit of work.
One way that you can prove this is by showing that there isn’t a job that you will be able to do full time on a basis that is both regular and sustained. You might also be able to get approved for disability if you are able to prove that because of your condition, you will have to miss a substantial amount of work.
If you have a medical condition that is causing you to not be able to work, and this condition is listed on the list of impairments by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the SSA can and will evaluate the abilities you have remaining, or your RFC (residual functioning capacity) to determine if you are still able to perform the duties of the job you last held in an effort to determine your eligibility for benefits. If you can’t, the SSA will then perform what is known as a medical – vocational analysis which will determine if there is any other type of work that you might be able to learn to do.
If you have a serious medical condition that makes you not able to work, it can be a massive blow to your finances. Unfortunately, the system tends to be backed against workers who are sick or injured. If you happen to have been injured on the job, you might have better chances, but for those who aren’t, your options might be limited. While the choices you have might not seem to be too plentiful, there are some steps you might be able to take that can help you make ends meet when you can’t work.
Some of the best financial advice for newly disabled people includes working with your boss. After you have seen a doctor and are informed regarding the extent of your illness or injury, you need to let your employer know exactly what is going on. Tell your boss how long the condition is expected to keep you from work and give them a note from the doctor.
The next thing you will need to do is to determine just how many sick, vacation, or other days you have accrued so that at least some of your time off will be covered, allowing you to continue to collect a paycheck and to keep your job. Budgeting will be your best friend when it comes to not being able to work and filing a disability claim.
When it comes to qualifying for disability benefits, the first roadblock can be the jobs you have held. See, you have to have had a job that was covered by Social Security. You also have to have one of the medical conditions that meet the definition of a disability as determined by Social Security. Typically, they will pay people who have a disability or will be out of work for more than a year due to illness or injury a monthly cash benefit.
Once you have applied for SSI or Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will then send your application to the DDS (Disability Determination Service) in your state. One of the DDS claims workers will then request all of your medical records before making a decision on your case. You should know that these claims examiners often have a backlog of applications to wade through and the process can take months, and sometimes years.
The best thing for you to do while you wait is to continue going to all of your doctor’s appointments and following their instructions to the letter. If the claims examiner denies your claim, and they generally do the first time, you will have to take your claim to a judge by appealing it. At this point, you might want to check into getting an attorney to help you get your claim approved in court.