Do You Have to be Practically Dead to Get Benefits?



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Many people thinking about applying for social security disability or SSI benefits wonder how disabled you actually have to be. The answer to how disabled you have to be depends on a number of factors. The older you are the less disabled you have to be. Likewise, the more unskilled and heavy your jobs have been the less disabled have to be to win.

Many people thinking about applying for social security disability or SSI benefits wonder how disabled you actually have to be. The answer to how disabled you have to be depends on a number of factors. The older you are the less disabled you have to be. Likewise, the more unskilled and heavy your jobs have been the less disabled have to be to win.

Any applicant for social security disability or SSI Supplemental Security Income benefits must show that they cannot do their past work. An applicant’s past work is defined as work that they have done in the last 15 years. For instance a 51 year old construction laborer who has one bad knee that prevents him from standing most of the day will win where an office worker with the same disability will not lose as the office worker can still do sit-down office work.

There are different age thresholds at which your disability will be considered. Workers over 50 and, even more so, workers over 55 usually win if they cannot do their past work or any jobs that are closely related to their past jobs (jobs to which they have transferable skills). Workers under age 50 have a harder time getting their applications for social security disability approved as they must prove that with retraining they cannot do any typically available job. A 48 year old truck driver, for instance, will not win just because he cannot do his past work as a truck driver, judges will look to see if such a truck driver, given his disability, could work as a dispatcher after some training.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerard Lynch, Attorney at Law
At the law firm of Gerard Lynch, our attorneys have been representing Social Security and SSI disability claimants for nearly 20 years, We focus on helping Texans win their claims for disability benefits. We represent clients at hearings before administrative law judges, and cases at all levels of application and review - from initial claims through federal court appeal actions.

Copyright Gerard Lynch, Attorney at Law
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.



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