"I'm Disabled and Unable to Work Because..."

February 03,2015
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The way in which a Social Security Disability claimant finishes that sentence is at the heart of every claim for Disability Insurance Benefits. In order to be found eligible for Social Security benefits, there are certain medical as well as non-medical requirements which must be satisfied. The medical requirements could be summed up by how the above sentence is completed.

All too often, potential clients will give me reasons for their inability to work which do not address these medical requirements and, if not for the guidance of an experienced Social Security practitioner, could very well doom a claim. One common example is, “no one will hire me with my medical condition.” Another is, “I can’t travel to and from work.” While these two explanations may be factually accurate, they do not specify a medical reason for not being able to work. Not only do these fail to specifically answer the question being asked by the Social Security Administration, but they can actually irreparably damage your claim.

The Social Security Administration must determine if a claimant has a medical condition (or conditions) that prevent him or her from being able to work on a full-time basis for a period of at least twelve (12) months. To put it simply, they do not care if no one will hire you, or whether you can travel to and from a place of employment. They assume for purposes of their analysis that the hypothetical job is available to you and that the commute is not an issue. Once there, can you do the job? If you cannot for medical reasons, then benefits are potentially payable.

The potential harm done by answering the question by failing to state a medical reason is that it can imply your ability to work when you cannot. Therefore, it is imperative that a brief medical explanation be offered in support of a claim for disability benefits.

Brian Anson