5 Signs Your Disability Claim May Be Approved

With the Social Security Administration denying the majority of disability claims, applicants need to submit claims that present overwhelming evidence of a disability. The first step involves submitting sufficient medical evidence followed by proof that an applicant is unable to work.

Successful disability applicants obtain enough work credits, as well as earn less than the limit set by substantial gainful activity (SGA). Perhaps the most important sign your disability claim may be approved is when you hire a Social Security lawyer to help you navigate the disability claim process.

1. Present Sufficient Medical Evidence

The SSA denies many disability claims because applicants failed to submit convincing medical evidence. As the official medical resource that the SSA uses to determine benefits eligibility, the Blue Book lists all the medical conditions and accompanying symptoms that qualify claimants for Social Security disability benefits.

You should submit the following medical records and reports to bolster your disability claim:

  • Record of medical history
  • Diagnostic reports
  • X-rays and CT scans
  • Description of treatments
  • Prescription drug receipts

A document signed by your physician that confirms the accuracy of every diagnostic test should be a part of the medical evidence you submit along with your Social Security disability claim.

2. Prove You Cannot Work

If you can demonstrate that you cannot work or perform work that is outside of your trained area of expertise, then the likelihood of getting a disability claim approved increases. The SSA requires disability claimants to prove they have not worked for the last 12 consecutive months. Your employer submits documentation that proves you did not work over the past year, but you should supplement your employer’s information with copies of your paycheck stubs and monthly bank statements.

3. You Have Earned Enough Work Credits

You earn work credits by paying Social Security taxes. If you earn enough work credits, then the SSA may approve your disability claim. In 2021, American workers gained one work credit for every $1,470 generated from company wages or self-employment compensation. The SSA establishes the number of work credits needed to qualify for disability benefits by referring to the age when an applicant first experienced symptoms of a disability.

4. You Earn Less Than the SGA

The fourth sign that the SSA may approve your disability claim is you are not able to participate in substantial gainful activity. SSA guidelines set the minimum monthly SGA based on the severity of an applicant’s disability. For 2021, the monthly SGA for a blind applicant is $2,190, while the monthly SGA for non-blind applicants falls to $1,310. Federal regulatory standards require a higher amount of SGA for blind applicants.

5. You Hired a Social Security Attorney

Since most disability claims come back denied, applicants should work with a Social Security lawyer who specializes in helping clients receive disability benefits from the SSA. An attorney can walk you through the application process, with a focus on collecting the type of strong medical evidence that the SSA wants to see.

Because the claim process can take months to come to a conclusion, your Social Security lawyer might be able to move the process along by staying in regular contact with the SSA. If the SSA denies your claim, your attorney might recommend that you file a reconsideration appeal with the SSA.

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Here is more information on signs your claim disability benefits with a specific condition may be approved: