If you were recently injured or are suffering from a serious and life-threatening medical illness or condition, you are likely considering filing for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two types of benefits available: Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The former is available to those who have worked long enough to build up “work credits.” The latter, SSI, is available to those with extremely limited resources and low monthly income levels. Your Oklahoma Social Security lawyer can help you determine which program to apply to that will best suit your needs.

What Is the Definition of “Disabled”?
In order to receive Social Security benefits, you must first meet the definition of “disabled.” This is a legally operative definition held by the SSA and may not reflect other definitions of disability through other agencies. For example, showing that you are “disabled” for the purposes of receiving workers’ compensation has nothing to do with the SSA’s determination of whether you qualify for benefits. The SSA doesn’t consider your actual ability to find a job so much as your ability to perform the physical and mental requirements of a job if you were hired.

Medically Determinable Condition
First, you must prove that you are suffering from a medically determinable (recognized) condition, illness or injury that is likely to last beyond 12 months or expected to result in your death. If you are seeking disability in light of a terminal illness, the SSA will take great measures to expedite your claim and handle your case with care. Typically, applicants must wait five months from the date of disability to receive their first payment, which is received in the sixth month.

If you have already applied for benefits and received a rejection letter, an Oklahoma Social Security lawyer can help you with the appeals process as well. The SSA provides multiple appeals opportunities starting with a reconsideration. After the reconsideration, you can petition for a hearing before an administrative law judge. From there, you can appeal to the SSA’s special appeals council.

For more information or to speak to an Oklahoma Social Security lawyer today.