The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC
Severe impairment needed to receive disability benefits
People in California who are unable to work due to their disabilities may wonder what they need to show in order to be approved to receive Social Security Disability Insurance. The severity of a person's medical condition is one of the major components of a successful claim for benefits. It is the first issue taken up by disability examiners for the Social Security Administration when assessing a new application, especially when making a medical vocational allowance.
A medical vocational allowance is an approval for Social Security disability benefits for a condition that is not explicitly provided for in the SSA's list of impairments. While some applicants' conditions are listed explicitly, most are approved on the basis of a medical vocational allowance. The first step in assessing a claim is determining whether the applicant's impairment is severe. This question refers to both physical and psychological disabilities. If the disability examiner believes that there is insufficient medical evidence to back up a claim of severity or that the applicant's limitations do not preclude employment, the application may be denied on the basis of non-severe impairment.
In order to make a successful claim for disability benefits, applicants must show that they are unable to work. Prior employment history and medical records play an important role in establishing a claim. The assessment process aims to measure applicants' functional ability or their capacity to work. Even people with severe medical conditions may also show substantial ability to work, depending on their training and field of activity.
The disability application process can often be confusing, especially when many legitimate applicants are rejected early on in the process. Someone applying for SSDI benefits can work with a disability lawyer in order to make a strong application and present the best evidence for a claim, especially at the disability hearing level.