Many people suffer a combination of conditions that, when considered individually, do not result in the inability to work — but, when considered collectively, are disabling. Unfortunately, many workers continue to attempt to work through a disability with the mistaken idea that they will not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Thankfully, they often will, in fact, qualify.
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines if impairments are severe enough to qualify an individual for disability benefits, the SSA must consider the combined effect of all impairments and not each impairment on its own. To determine if a combination of conditions really is disabling, the SSA considers five disability factors:
- Are you working? If you are not working or you are working but your earnings do not exceed the monthly limit established each year, the SSA may award disability benefits.
- Are your impairments severe? If the combination of your conditions makes it difficult for you to work, you may be considered disabled.
- Are any of your conditions on the list of disabling conditions? The SSA keeps a list of disabling medical conditions considered severe enough to automatically qualify you for disability benefits. If none of your impairments are listed, the SSA will still consider if the combination is equal in severity to a listed condition.
- Can you do your previous work? If the SSA believes your conditions are not as severe as a listed condition, they will consider whether or not they still interfere with your work.
- Can you adjust to new work? If your impairments leave you unable to perform your former work tasks, the SSA tries to determine if you can take on different work.
While determining if you qualify for SSDI benefits may seem complicated, an experienced disability attorney can guide you through the bureaucracy and make obtaining the benefits you need an achievable task. If you suffer from a combination of impairments that makes working an unbearable or impossible struggle, contact our lawyer for an analysis of your case.