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When applying for SSDI benefits, how can I prove I have a disability?

From a marketing professional who is diagnosed with breast cancer to a construction worker who suffers a traumatic brain injury after falling from scaffolding to an office worker who struggles with bipolar disorder, millions of U.S. workers struggle to deal with disabling conditions. In some cases; a physical injury, mental health condition or illness may severely hamper an individual physically and mentally and therefore inhibit one's ability to work.

What happens to these millions of men and women? Unable to work and earn an income, many have few to no options available. Thankfully, the Social Security Administration established a safety net program aimed to provide financial benefits for U.S. workers who, due to a disability, are not able to work and earn an income.

Monthly benefits awarded via Social Security Disability Income help millions of Americans afford basic necessities like food, clothing, utilities and housing. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must go through a comprehensive application process and prove that he or she has one of the qualifying conditions for SSDI and, as a result, is not able to work. 

Even in cases where an individual’s disabling condition is included in the SSA's list of qualifying impairments, there's no guarantee that an individual will receive SSDI benefits. In the eyes of the SSA not all injuries, conditions or illnesses are equal and the onus is therefore on an individual to unequivocally prove his or her disability.

An attorney who handles SSDI claims can be an invaluable resource and asset when applying for SSDI benefits or when appealing a denied SSDI claim. 

Source:, "How to Prove Disability," 2014

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