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How is the decision made when I apply for SSD benefits?

Georgia residents who are suffering from a medical condition, illness or injury and cannot work will want to understand the requirements to get Social Security Disability Insurance. Many people are denied SSD benefits not because their issues do not meet the medical requirements to get an approval, but because they have made a mistake in the application process. Regardless of the circumstances, having legal assistance is helpful when filing for benefits. The Social Security Administration will ask five questions in a step-by-step manner to decide whether an applicant can be approved.

First, the claimant will be asked if he or she is working. In 2019, if the earnings average more than $1,220 monthly, he or she is unlikely to be classified as disabled. For those who are not working, the application will move forward to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) so the medical condition will be assessed. Step two is when the condition is evaluated. If it is "severe," it will cause substantial limitations in the person's capability to do basics necessary for work, such as being able to lift things, stand, walk, sit and remember. It must last for a minimum of 12 months.

Third, the DDS will use the list of medical conditions to see if the person is unable to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). For those whose condition does not appear on the list, there is still a chance to get benefits as it could equal one or more from the list. For step four, it must be gauged whether the person can do work he or she did in the past or if the condition, illness or injury stops them from doing so. If it is found to prevent doing past work, the case will move forward to step five. Step five requires the DDS to ask if the person can do other kinds of work. Factors such as the person's age, work experience and education will be considered. If it is impossible to do other kinds of work, then the case will be decided in favor or disability.

Applying for disability can be confusing and intimidating. Accruing all the necessary evidence and filing the claim under the SSA's parameters can go a long way toward getting an approval. There are also options to appeal if the case is denied. Having legal assistance with the basics of SSDI benefits is essential to the case and can avoid delays and denials. A law firm with experience in helping people get disability could be called for guidance and advice from the start.

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Our founding partners each have more than 20 years of experience in disability law, and they have a high success rate in administrative appeals and litigation in SSDI, workers' comp and long-term disability claims involving ERISA. Contact our Atlanta office today to discuss your needs.

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