Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability

Seeking disability benefits can be daunting. Only about 25 percent of all disability claims in Tennessee get approved at the level of the initial claim or disability application, one of the lowest in the nation. In many cases, claimants must file at least one or two appeals before their claims are successful. Potential claimants will find fewer hurdles in their path if they check their qualifications for disability before filing the claim. Claimants can qualify for disability benefits through the Title II Social Security Disability (SSDI) program or through the Title 16 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Each of these programs is handled the same way regarding how it deals with medical qualifications. To qualify medically for either SSDI or SSI, a claimant must prove that he or she has a severe mental and/or physical condition. Under the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, the condition in question must meet the following qualifications:
  • It lasts for at least one uninterrupted year
  • It interferes with various everyday activities and the ability to perform even basic work functions
  • Its level of severity prevents the claimant from engaging in work activity considered by the Social Security Administration to be a gainful, substantial income
If a claimant satisfies the SSA’s definition of disability, that person may be approved in either of two ways. First, the administration may review the claimant’s medical records to determine if his or her medical condition meets its requirements. Second, if a case cannot be approved simply based on a listing, the claimant’s medical records and work history will be analyzed to determine functional limitations due to the condition in question. To learn more about qualifying for Social Security disability benefits in Tennessee or Virginia, contact an experienced Bristol attorney. Call Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. today at 423-797-6022 to schedule your free initial consultation, or contact us online.