Social Security Disability/SSI

Grand Island Social Security Disability Attorney


THE ABCs of Social Security Disability
Retirement, Survivor’s and Disability Insurance or Title II.  To be eligible for this program, a disabled worker must be “insured for disability insurance purposes” and “disabled.”  The amount of back benefits and monthly checks is based on the disabled worker’s Primary Insurance Amount.  Dependent children under age 18 or disabled prior to age 22 may receive benefits subject to various limitations.

Supplemental Security Income or Title XVI (also known as SSI).  To be eligible for this program, a person must be disabled and “resources” below established limits (needs based program).  Children may be eligible for SSI based on their disability, but parents need to meet the resource limits.  Adults that receive SSI based on their disability are not entitled to benefits for dependent children.

Definition of Disability for Social Security Purposes:
Inability to engage in any Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) by reason of a medically determinable impairment, physical or mental (or combination of impairments) which can reasonably be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 continuous months.  42 U.S.C. §423(d)(1) and 20 C.F.R. §404.1505.

Sequential Evaluation Process:
Is claimant performing Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)?
Does claimant have a severe impairment?
Does claimant have an impairment of Listing Severity (Meets or Equals a Listing)?
Is claimant able to perform Past Relevant Work (PRW)?
Can claimant perform other work?

Substantial Gainful Activity:
Work, either part-time or full time, done for pay or profit.

Severe Impairment:
Significantly limits physical or mental abilities to do basic work activities.  20 C.F.R. §404.1521.

Listed Impairment:
20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.  Part A- Listing for Adults.  Part B- Listings for Children.  Meeting/Equaling a Listing= Disability.  Durational requirement applies (12 months).

Past Relevant Work (PRW):
Able to perform PRW= Not disabled.  PRW must have been performed at SGA.  Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) determined.  Burden of proof carried by the claimant.  Physical and/or mental demands of PRW must be evaluated.  Work performed for the past 15 years prior to the hearing date.  Date of last insurability may be an issue.  20 C.F.R. §404.1565.

Other Work:
Two tools are used at this level.  Medical Vocational Guidelines (GRIDS) and Vocational Expert Testimony.  Claimant’s age, education and past relevant work experience will be evaluated.  If able to perform other work= Not disabled.

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