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Every veteran who is unable to work because of a mental or physical disability has the opportunity to claim Social Security (SS) disability. However, obtaining these benefits can challenging without experienced legal counsel.

Both Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) have strict physical and financial qualifications under the law. Failure to meet any of the conditions imposed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) will lead to a denial of benefits, which can delay a veteran’s ability to collect the compensation they deserve.

A lawyer from our team can help you understand what goes into qualifying for SS disability and advise you on how to obtain these benefits from the SSA. In the event that you receive a denial, we can help you file an appeal to challenge the agency’s decision on your eligibility.

Which Conditions Are Considered Disabilities by the SSA?

The first and most important step in any SS disability claim is demonstrating that you suffer from a disabling condition. According to the SSA, a person is considered disabled if they are unable to perform their job duties because of a medical impairment which is expected to last for at least one year.

Additionally, the SSA has published a list of presumptive conditions that automatically qualify an applicant for SS disability benefits. These include:

  • Respiratory disorders that affect a person’s ability to breathe and distribute oxygen throughout their body
  • Cardiovascular conditions that affect inhibit proper heart or circulatory function
  • Digestive conditions that affect the liver, intestines, or stomach
  • Cancers and autoimmune disorders

However, many SS disability claims do not fall under these categories, and veterans may need to explicitly demonstrate how their diagnoses qualify them for benefits. One of VetLaw’s attorneys can advise a former servicemember on the best way to make this argument and how to effectively present evidence.

Proving Financial Eligibility for SS Disability

Demonstrating that you are disabled is only part of the criteria for receiving benefits. Both SS disability programs provided by the SSA also have economic requirements that all veterans must satisfy.

For SSI, the agency imposes a maximum asset threshold for all applicants. For example, a person who is not married can have no more than $2,000 in non-exempt assets. This number rises to $3,000 for married people. Exempt assets may include one car, a home, and personal effects valued at up to $2,000.

SSDI, on the other hand, uses other factors to determine a veteran’s eligibility for benefits. The SSA must measure your work history to determine whether you have contributed a sufficient portion of your income to the program via taxes.

You must earn at least 40 work credits in order to qualify for SS disability, 20 of which must have been earned in the past ten years. We can help you determine which SS disability programs you may qualify for.

Ask an Attorney about Qualifying for SS Disability

Filing an application for SS disability benefits with a firm understanding of the qualifying factors can place you at an advantage. Some veterans may have a condition that automatically qualifies them for benefits, while others may need to demonstrate how their impairment prevents them from maintaining gainful employment.

An attorney from our firm can provide more information about qualifying for SS disability. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.