Your Disability Case is Only About One Thing: Can you work doing any job?
When you apply for Social Security disability benefits you may think that your case will be about why you cannot do your old job. That is not true. Social Security says you are disabled only if your limitations keep you from doing any type of job. In making this determination, there are many things that Social Security will NOT consider. Here are a few of them:
Inability to Find a Job
The Social Security Administration (SSA) only considers whether your impairment prohibits you from being physically or mentally able to complete a job. SSA does not consider whether you are having a hard time finding a job, whether you would actually get hired for a job, whether you would be interested in the job, whether you are overqualified for the job or whether the job is close enough to where you live.
Income You Would Earn
In evaluating your ability to work, the SSA will not consider your income from your old job compared to the income from a less physically or mentally stressful job. For example, if a medical doctor has limitations that prevent her from returning to work as a doctor but she’s able to take tickets in a movie theater on a full time basis, then the doctor is not “disabled.” This is true even though the doctor would only earn minimum wage working as a ticket taker. SSA’s only concern is whether she can physically and mentally do the less demanding job.
Letters Stating That You Are Disabled
Your doctor may be supportive of your disability claim and want to write a letter stating that he believes you are ”disabled.” This is not helpful because the SSA is the decision maker regarding whether or not you are disabled. However, the doctor’s input regarding how long you are able to sit, stand, walk, concentrate and perform other mental and physical tasks is relevant to the assessment. Other aspects of your healthcare provider’s assessment may also be considered, but just a letter from the doctor stating only that you are disabled will not conclusively determine your case.
Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits is difficult. You need to understand Social Security’s requirements and the disability process. Order a free copy of my Unofficial Guide to Social Security Disability Claims on this website.
Or call my office a (800) 218-7062.