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Can I Get Social Security Disability if I Used to Work as an Accountant?

Disability Benefits for Accountants

Contrary to what many may believe, an accountant is not just an individual who works during tax season, filing tax returns and offering tax advice. Accountants are mathematical professionals who are trained in the practices of accounting, math, law and finance. These individuals are hired by companies and individuals to analyze the financial health of their clients and to provide financial advice and tax services. They prepare financial statements, track income and assets and can assist in determining an individual's net worth or the value of a company.

Working as an accountant requires keen mathematical skills, extreme focus and a high level of intelligence. These professionals must be able to focus on the numbers that they are analyzing and understand the numbers behind the reports they are preparing. An accounting career requires advanced critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate numbers to their clients in a manner that their clients will understand.

Accounting is not a high-risk job, but there are instances in which an accountant may become disabled and unable to continue their career. Any long-term or permanent illness or injury that affects the accountant's critical thinking skills and mental abilities will prevent the accountant from maintaining their current occupation.

Working with a Disability as an Accountant

Not all disabilities will prevent an accountant from performing their chosen line of work. For example, an injury that results in a disability which leaves an accountant confined to a wheelchair will not necessarily prevent the professional from performing the tasks necessary to properly serve his or her financial clients. If, however, that injury results in chronic pain and the need for constant pain medication, that medication may affect the accountant's ability to focus on the numbers and may impair his or her critical thinking skills. In this case, the disability would most definitely affect the accountant's ability to perform quality accounting services.

When an accountant suffers from a long-term or permanent disability that results in an inability to perform his or her work requirements, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to offset some of the financial hardship caused by the disabling condition. However, the challenge is in being approved for the disability benefits to which the accountant may be entitled.

Accountants are considered to be highly skilled workers. Because of this, it can be harder for an accountant to obtain an approval of their disability claim from the Social Security Administration. For example, an accountant suffering from a back injury may not be awarded disability benefits because the Social Security Administration will not only be looking at the severity of the claimant’s disability, but will also be looking at his or her residual functional work capacity. If the SSA determines that the disability does not impact the individual's ability to provide accounting services, the disability claim will be denied regardless of the severity of the condition.

Applying for Social Security Disability as an Accountant

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits as an accountant, the Social Security Administration takes a number of factors into consideration before they will approve or deny your Social Security Disability claim. The adjudicator reviewing your file will look at your age, your work history, your residual work capacity and how likely your skills are to transfer to another type of work activity. For example, an accountant in their thirties who suffers from an injury which results in paralysis of the lower limbs would be less likely to be awarded benefits than an accountant who suffers from an injury that results in some form of brain damage or mental disorder. It is important to understand that the Social Security Administration will not just be determining whether or not you are disabled, but whether or not you can perform any type of work at all in the national economy.

If you are an accountant who has suffered from a long-term or permanent disability and are unable to continue your work activity, you should file for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible. Before doing so, however, you may want to consult with a qualified Social Security Disability advocate or attorney. These individuals can help you prepare your Social Security Disability claim, ensuring that you provide the SSA with sufficient medical evidence and that you claim is presented properly to the adjudicator who will be reviewing your file.

If your initial claim for Social Security Disability benefits is not approved by the Social Security Administration, do not give up hope. Nearly 70 percent of claims are denied during this stage of the claim process. You and your advocate or attorney will then need to focus on the hearing stage of the appeal process, where your attorney will work to prove to the administrative law judge hearing your case why your disability completely prevents you from performing any type of work activity in the national economy. Statistics show that disability applicants who obtain representation for this stage of the appeal process are more likely to win their case than those who choose to represent themselves.

If you would like to discuss your Social Security Disability application with a qualified disability attorney or advocate or if you would like to find out more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits as a disabled accountant, click here for a free, no-obligation review of your Social Security Disability case.