Jefferson City disability lawyer explains the two routes to an award of Social Security disability benefits

In my work as a Jefferson City disability lawyer, I am often asked about the basic eligibility requirements for obtaining Social Security disability benefits. The simple answer is that benefits are paid to individuals who are “disabled,” as defined in the Social Security regulations. However, as is often the case when dealing with a large government bureaucracy, the process is not that simple. The Social Security Administration applies a strict definition of “disabled” and requires applicants to meet every element of that definition in order to be awarded benefits.

Proving you are “disabled”

As a threshold matter, you must establish that you have a “severe” mental or physical impairment that prevents you from working, and that has lasted at least one year or is expected to last that long or to result in your death. Once it is established that you meet these initial requirements, you must prove one of the following in order to be awarded Social Security disability benefits: either your impairment “meets or medically equals” a Listing impairment, or considering your age, education, work experience and present ability to perform work-related functions, you are not able to do your previous work or any other type of work.

Your impairment meets or equals a Listing impairment >>
Your impairment does not meet or equal a Listing impairment >>

My Social Security library provides more information about the application and appeals process

If you have questions about the Social Security application or appeals process, you may find the following articles and videos to be particularly helpful:

If you are thinking about applying:

If your application was denied:

  • Read the articles listed under Disability Appeals to learn about the appeals process.
  • Your Disability Hearing links to articles that explain this important stage in the disability determination process and offer practical advice on how to be your own best advocate.

Jefferson City disability lawyer can lead you through the application and appeals process

An experienced Jefferson City disability lawyer can analyze the particular facts of your case and help you navigate the Social Security disability application and appeals process, whether you have a Listing impairment or a non-Listing impairment. I have been representing disabled individuals in the mid-Missouri region since 1982. If you would like the benefit of my knowledge and local experience, please use the Free Claim Evaluation on this page to tell me about your situation, or call or email me directly.

I wish you success.

Jefferson City disability lawyer

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