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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How Disability Benefits are Awarded

People with disabilities are entitled to benefits under the programs of the Social Security Administration. However, not all disabilities are awarded benefits. Every claim for Social Security disability or SSI disability is scrutinized to determine its validity.

Disability benefits are awarded in two ways:

1. Disability examiner or judge will determine if the medical evidence satisfies the approval criteria for a physical or mental condition listed under the blue book.

2. Disability adjudicator will determine if the claimant is unable to do their past work for the last 15 years and is unable to perform other work.

Claimants should not only satisfy the fact that they could no longer go back to their past work. They must also show that they could not perform any other work which fit their vocational profile.

The disability judge or examiner is tasked with the responsibility of determining whether or not claimants can go back to their past work. With the work history information furnished by the claimant, the adjudicator will match them to a job description contained in the dictionary of occupational titles.

The adjudicator will compare the work demands and job skills of the claimant’s past work to their current level of functioning. If the current level of functionality is less than what the former jobs required, obviously, they could not go back to their past work.

The procedures for claiming disability only show that the burden of proof lies on the claimant. They must provide accurate and reliable information regarding their past jobs and detailed information about their medical history.

If claimants find the process complicated, the assistance of a disability lawyer would be much appreciated.