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Chicago Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney

Social Security Eligibility Lawyer in Cook and Lake Counties

In order to be found disabled and eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the evidence must show evidence of a total disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has no limited or partial disability option, so only those who are fully disabled are able to qualify. Specific criteria must be met for a person to be found disabled. Unfortunately, most who apply for Social Security Disability are not approved on their initial application, and in many cases it is because their application does not accurately reflect their medical condition.

At Pearson Disability Law, LLC, we understand the frustration individuals go through trying to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Managing attorney Jonathan L. Pearson has made it his mission to help those who are struggling with the application process secure successful outcomes in their cases. He is a National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) member and has helped thousands of individuals throughout Illinois become approved for the benefits they deserve. Mr. Pearson works with each client individually and charges no upfront attorney fees; you only pay if he wins your case.

When is a Person Considered Totally Disabled by the SSA?

SSA uses a five-step sequential evaluation process when determining whether or not an individual is disabled.

  1. Are you currently working?

    The first requirement for being considered disabled is lack of ability to perform work that constitutes substantial gainful activity (SGA). In general, this means not being able to earn above a certain amount per month. This amount is adjusted each year; for 2022 it is $1,350 for non-blind individuals and $2,260 for those who are blind. For those who do freelance/contracting work or are self-employed, the SSA performs other tests to determine if the applicant meets the threshold. Those who earn more than SGA will normally have their application denied on this basis alone.

  2. Do you have a severe medical condition?

    If you are not working or are working but earning under SGA, the next question is whether you have a severe physical or mental impairment that interferes with your ability to perform basic work-related activities for at least 12 months or that can reasonably be expected to last for at least 12 months.

  3. Is your condition listed in the SSA listing of impairments or medically equivalent in severity to a listed impairment?

    The SSA has a listing of specific medical conditions that are so severe they automatically qualify for disability benefits. If your condition matches one of those listed, you are considered medically disabled. If not, the disability examiner checks your medical records to determine if you have a condition that is medically equal in severity. If you have a medically equivalent condition, your application for benefits will be approved.

  4. If no to #3, are you able to perform the work you did previously?

    If you do not have a listed impairment or a condition that is medically equivalent to one (or more) of those listed, the disability examiner checks to see if your impairment hinders your ability to perform the work you did prior to your illness or injury. If it is determined that you can perform your prior work, your claim is denied.

  5. Are you able to perform any other kind of work?

    If you are unable to perform the work you did previously, the disability examiner will also try to determine if you are able to do any other type of work. Factors taken into account in making this determination include your age, education and vocational training.

In general, for a person to be found disabled, they must have a medical condition severe enough to render them unable to perform their past job or other work they would have otherwise been qualified to perform. In addition, this condition must have prevented the applicant from working for at least the past year or be expected to prevent them from working for at least one year into the future.

Pearson Disability Law, LLC has helped countless individuals navigate the complex Social Security Disability application process and determine if they satisfy the SSA’s requirements for disability. For a free personalized consultation with Mr. Pearson, contact our office today at 312-999-0999.

You are not alone. Call now for a FREE consultation 312-999-0999

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