The Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income programs (SSI) are both total disability programs, not a short-term or temporary disability program. Social Security disability and SSI benefits are provided when the individual’s condition is 100 percent disabling according to the definition of disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Applying and actually qualifying for either of these programs is a long, complex process that demands the assistance of a well-qualified Albuquerque disability lawyer.
The definition of disability states that the claimant must have a severe condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one full year. The condition must be severe enough that it prevents the claimant from being substantially and gainfully employed. An individual is substantially and gainfully employed when he or she is working and earning a certain level of income that the SSA considers to be clear evidence of non-disability.
Obviously, the SSA’s definition of disability does not prohibit the claimant from working. In fact, a claimant can work while filing for disability benefits, or even work while receiving disability benefits. The issue is how much the individual can work as measured by how much they are able to earn.
It should also be noted that the definition of disability specifically states that if a drug addiction or alcoholism is a “contributing factor” material to the determination of disability, then the person is not considered disabled for purposes of Social Security disability or SSI.
Meeting the specific requirements of the SSA’s guidelines for Social Security disability or SSI benefits can be complex and tricky. However, the legal assistance and representation of a knowledgeable and experienced Albuquerque disability lawyer will be invaluable to a favorable outcome to your disability benefits claim. For more information, contact Albuquerque disability attorney Michelle Baca.