If you have a disability that is affecting your ability to carry out normal, everyday activities, you may be entitled to social security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has put forward specific guidelines to determine if you are entitled to disability benefits. As a leading authority in spinal and neurological care, Front Range Spine And Neurosurgery also offers disability determination services to ensure your application process goes as smoothly as possible.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded federal insurance program, which is designed to supplement income to individuals who have a notable disability that restricts their ability to be employed.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested program operated by Social Security Administration to provide cash assistance to individuals who have a limited income, are 65 years of age, or are blind or disabled.
Determining A Disability
There are specific criteria that the Social Security Administration looks at to determine if you are entitled to SSDI or SSI, which include:
If you cannot work due to a disability. SSDI and SSI are aimed specifically for individuals who are unable to work because of a disability. Therefore, if you are working and are able to support yourself, you may not qualify for it. However, if your earnings fall below the income threshold, or if your disability restricts what duties you can perform, you may be entitled to disability benefits.
The severity of your disabling condition. In order to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must be severe enough to restrict your ability to work. This means you are unable to perform the tasks you were able to perform prior to your disability or that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from carrying out basic work-related duties.
If you have a recognized condition. Not all medical conditions qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration holds a Listing of Impairments resource that outlines all major disabilities and the specifics of each condition, such as limitations or symptoms related to the impairment.
Does your condition prevent you from doing the work you used to do? Even if your condition is not specified in the Listing of Impairments, you may still be entitled to disability benefits if your condition is severe enough to limit your ability to work, particularly if your disability prevents you from carrying out the same duties in your job that you previously did.
Are you able to do alternative work? If your disability prevents or limits your ability to carry out your current work, the Social Security Administration looks to see if you are able to carry out other types of work instead, or whether some changes to your current work environment could enable you to fulfil your duties successfully. Your medical condition, age, education, previous work experience, and transferable skills will be taken into consideration when assessing this.
There are a number of methods that are used to determine an individual’s disability and their entitlement to disability benefits, which include:
- Medical records (to provide information about the condition, treatment received, etc.)
- Statement from the applicant (to explain how the disability impacts their employment and daily life)
- Study of the applicant’s life (including objective medical opinions and statements from people who know the applicant, such as friends, coworkers, and neighbors)
If a medical condition does not meet the criteria to receive disability benefits, there are other options worth exploring, such as Medical Vocational Allowance.
Disability Determinations in Lone Tree, Colorado Springs, and Aurora, Colorado
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, our surgeons, Dr. Rauzzino and Dr. Boyer, are experts in all areas of spinal and neurological care. They are also proud to provide additional services including disability determinations, independent medical evaluations, Rule 16 medical records reviews, and management of workers’ compensation cases (Level II accredited).
For more information, or to make an appointment, call us today at (303) 790-1800 or request an appointment online. We have three convenient locations in Lone Tree, Colorado Springs, and Aurora.