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Winning your Social Security Disability Claim

A key to winning Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income is to understand how the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines you are disabled. Does it matter what your age, the types of jobs you have worked in the last 15 years or your educational level? Not if you can prove you are unable to perform substantial gainful activity or work.

Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income is monthly financial assistance provided by the federal government to claimants who are unable to work and support themselves. The Social Security Administration does not want to approve any claimants for benefits who they do not consider eligible and truly mentally or physically disabled.

What is a disabling health condition according to the Social Security Administration? A disabling mental or physical health condition is an impairment that is severe, does not allow the claimant to work and is expected to keep the claimant from working for at least one year or more. If you are able to perform substantial work of any type (which you are qualified to perform given your age, educational level or work history) you will not be awarded benefits.

Another way to look at it is to determine the lowest level of work you would be qualified to do, evaluate your residual functional capacity to work and determine if you could perform that job. For instance, if you are able to sit down and focus for 8 hours per day the SSA may determine you could be a security monitor, Wal-Mart greeter, ticket taker or small parts assembler. If you could be retrained to perform these unskilled (or semi-skilled), low stress and sedentary jobs the Social Security Administration will not award you SSI or SSDI benefits. You will also be denied Social Security Disability benefits if you have a severe condition but you are going to recover within one year.

Before Filing a Social Security Disability Claim

If you can not work due to a severe mental or physical health condition, file a Social Security Disability claim. You can file a Social Security Disability claim online, over the phone or in person at the nearest Social Security Administration office.