Dothan Social Security Disability Attorneys Explain Severe Impairments

What you need to know to successfully claim SSDI benefits

If you are injured and unable to work, Social Security disability insurance could provide important benefits for your support. However, to qualify you must prove you have what the Social Security Administration recognizes as a “severe impairment.” The SSA rejects a high percentage of first-time claims for just this reason. Fortunately, the Alabama Social Security disability attorneys at Carey & Hamner, P.C. in Dothan have extensive experience appealing claims that were previously rejected. We understand the evidence requirements, so we can review your application and strengthen your claim to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.

What is a severe impairment?

Social Security disability insurance benefits are for individuals who are no longer able to work because of an injury or illness. A key requirement is proof of a severe impairment, which the SSA defines as a condition that significantly limits the individual’s physical or mental abilities, so that he or she is unable to perform basic work activities. Severe impairment can result from a single condition or from multiple impairments that are individually less severe but when taken together render an applicant unable to work.

The SSA’s first step in evaluating the severity of your impairment is to review the medical evidence you have provided. If you have omitted certain medical records, your claim could fail on that basis alone. If your medical evidence is adequate, you might be asked to complete the Activities of Daily Living and Vocational Questionnaires. Your answers will explain how your condition has impacted your ability to function. The SSA might also schedule a consultative examination (CE) with a physician approved by the Disability Determination Services agency. On the basis of all this evidence, if a claim reviewer determines your conditions are not severe impairments, your claim could be rejected at this point. Otherwise, it proceeds to the next step: the listings.

The SSA publishes an online list of Social Security disability impairments, with specific criteria for claim approval, such as:

  • Mental disorders
  • Immune system disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Digestive system disorders
  • Hemic and lymphatic system disorders
  • Respiratory system disorders
  • Musculoskeletal system disorders
  • Cardiovascular system disorders

Conditions that match the listings can gain approval at this juncture. However, the SSA list is not meant to be comprehensive. If you have a condition that is not found on the list, you could still qualify after an examination of your current state of health.

The final step in the process is a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. You must answer questions about your physical or mental abilities, restrictions and limitations. Alternatively, the Disability Determination Services agency can complete an RFC based on your medical records. The results of the RFC will determine whether you meet the qualifications for establishing severe impairment.

How our Social Security disability lawyers can help

If you have received notice of a denied Social Security disability claim, you have the right to appeal. A Dothan Social Security disability attorney at our firm can review your application and address any inadequacies. We have vast experience in SSDI appeals and can provide capable representation through every step of the process to a successful conclusion.

Contact our Alabama law firm to appeal your denial of SSDI benefits

Carey & Hamner, P.C. in Dothan helps clients appeal rejections of SSDI claims that are based on lack of severe impairment. To schedule a consultation, call 855-435-4797 or contact us online. Our office is located across Main Street from the First United Methodist Church.