When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate whether your medical condition is severe enough to qualify you for benefits. After reviewing your application to ensure that you meet basic requirements for disability benefits, the SSA will send your file to the Division of Disability Determination (DDD) under the Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) in Ohio.
DDD completes the disability decision, considering all of the facts in your case. DDD only determines your medical eligibility for disability benefits, not your legal or financial eligibility. Doctors and disability specialists in the state agency will ask your doctors as well as hospitals and clinics where you have been treated about your condition. They may ask about the following:
Another thing they’ll discuss with your doctors is your ability to do work-related activities, such as walk, sit, carry, and lift. When evaluating a claimant’s medical condition, the SSA requires that the issues be addressed in a specific order to ensure that everyone gets the same consideration. DDD uses the following 5-step evaluation process to determine whether you qualify for benefits:
If you are working and earning more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount, you may be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits. If you are working, your earnings must be below the monthly SGA amount.
At this stage, DDD will evaluate whether your medical condition significantly limits your ability to perform basic work activities. Your medical condition must also be expected to result in death or have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
The blue book is the SSA’s list of more than 150 impairments. These listings are considered severe enough to render a person unable to work. You will be considered disabled if you meet or equal a listing’s criteria.
If you’re able to perform work you did in the past despite your impairment, you will be denied of benefits. If you are unable to perform past relevant work, DDD proceeds to the final step.
DDD considers your age, education, work experience, and physical and mental condition to determine whether there are other kinds of work you’re able to perform. If DDD determines that you’re unable to transition to any other type of work in the national economy, then you will be granted disability benefits. Keep in mind that DDD doesn’t have to find you a job in order to deny your claim. All they need to do is determine whether there are sufficient jobs available that you are capable of doing.
Whether you’re just beginning the Social Security disability claims process or your application has been denied, our attorneys can help you obtain the disability benefits to which you are entitled. For a free consultation, simply give us a call at (614) 545-9998 or contact us online.
Social Security Benefits Increase in 2018
When the Social Security Administration announces the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), there’s usually an increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). The CPI-W rises when […]READ MORE →
A special thank you to Jones Law Group attorneys Kevin Larrimer and Nick Kolitsos for helping me with my STRS disability claim. They are both very competent and well versed in Ohio STRS disability law and were able to succeed in my claim where I was unable on my own. I want to believe that […]