A disabling medical condition or mental issue can impact an employee’s ability to continue working and earn a living. This can be financially devastating, and a California employee may find it necessary to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. The SSA holds a strict definition of disability, and even with a valid condition and legitimate impairment, it can be quite difficult to secure this type of financial support.
Before applying for benefits, an applicant will need to gather certain types of documentation. The SSA will use various types of documentation and records to determine the applicant’s level of impairment. The federal agency will look at work history, medical records, whether the applicant is currently working and functional capacity. Earning too much or having the ability to do other types of work may disqualify an individual from benefits.
When looking at ability to work, the SSA will review the capacity the applicant has to continue with gainful activity. This includes looking at physical ability, mental state, the effects of required medication, progression of the disabling condition and skills necessary to work. Initial claims are often denied because the SSA determines the applicant has the ability to work in some capacity.
Filing for disability benefits can be a frustrating and complicated process. Initial claims may come back denied, and a California applicant may be unsure of what to do next. From completing forms to gathering necessary documentation to walking through the appeals process, there is significant benefit in working with an experienced legal ally from the very beginning of the claims process.