According to SSA, only about 35% of disability claims are approved upon initial application. This means that your chance of getting disability benefits at this stage is rather slim.
Don’t be discouraged though. Those numbers are proven to increase after a hearing with the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). In fact, more than half of the applications are ultimately approved after going through the appeals process.
If you want to gauge how likely you are to get benefits, here are 5 signs that you will be approved for disability:
1. You’ve Paid Enough Social Security Taxes
One of the first requirements to qualify for SSA benefits is that you must have enough work credits.
What are work credits?
When you work in jobs that pay social security taxes, you can earn up to 4 work credits a year. Under social security rules, you need to earn at least 40 work credits to qualify for disability benefits. Twenty of which must have been earned in the last 10 years. But younger workers may also qualify even with lesser credits.
If you don’t have enough work credits, it’s impossible to get Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI). But you can still apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
2. You Have Sufficient Medical Evidence
We cannot emphasize enough how important medical evidence is in disability claims. The SSA uses it to gauge if you really are disabled. If the medical evidence you have does not sufficiently prove your disability, you’ll most likely get denied.
But choosing which medical evidence to submit can be tricky. For one, you only need to turn in the “relevant” ones. Like if your disability has something to do with your shoulder, you don’t have to submit your dental records.
If you have a disability lawyer, getting the necessary medical evidence won’t be such a headache. Through experience, they already know what the SSA wants to see and how to make them see it. They can talk to your doctors and get the medical evidence you need.
3. Your Medical Condition is in the SSA’s List of Impairments
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be granted disability benefits. But it helps a lot.
You see, the SSA’s list of impairments serves as a guide on what conditions are considered disabling enough. But the SSA still looks at each individual case. Remember that each of us has differing tolerance to pain. The severity of the medical condition will also differ per person.
The SSA will assess if your condition prevents you from doing certain things. If they find that it affects your capacity to earn enough, then your claim might get approved.
4. You’re Earning Less Than The Monthly SGA
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is the SSA’s way of gauging how much work you can do. If you’re earning a monthly income lesser than the SGA, you have a higher chance of getting approved.
For 2020, the SGA amount is $2,110 for blind individuals and $1,260 for everyone else. This amount changes every year so be sure to check the SSA website for the latest updates.
5. You Can’t Do Your Past Work Or Any Other Type of Work
One determining factor for disability is your capacity to do work. If you can’t go back to the job you’ve been doing before you got disabled, the SSA will assess if you can do other types of jobs. They will look at your age, skills, and educational attainment.
If they determined that you don’t have the skills to do other jobs or are too old to learn a new skill, you’ll most likely get approved.
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Victor Malca Law has over 25 years of litigation experience, we are the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.