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Key Requirements for Social Security Income (SSI)

Social Security disability claims denials are unfortunately common. According to available statistics, in fiscal year 2010, only 35 percent of the total disability insurance applications were approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

With the said data, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that roughly 65 percent of nationwide disability claims applications are denied each year. Due to the high denial rate of disability claims, many first-time applicants are intimidated with the application process.

Denials for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security Income (SSI) can be avoided by learning beforehand the key points in applying for disability benefits. The first thing that disability benefits applicants need to remember is the requirements.

The following are the key requirements that applicants should meet:

  • The applicant should have worked in a job that is covered by the Social Security
  • The disabling condition (physical or mental) should meet SSA’s definition of disability
  • The medical condition is expected to last for at least 12 months or may result in death
  • For the year 2012, the non-blind applicant should not have a monthly substantial gainful activity (SGA) income of more than $1,010; for the blind applicant, his monthly SGA should not be more than $1,690
  • The applicant should have been employed for at least five years during the last 10 years

If the applicant meets all the said requirements, he or she is not yet safe from being denied. There are still certain factors that the SSA considers in approving an initial application.

One of the most difficult things to prove before the SSA is a person’s disability; this is because the agency is very particular with its definition of a disabled person.

According to SSA’s definition of disability, a person can be considered disabled if he or she cannot perform his or her former job due to his or her medical condition. Furthermore, he or she cannot work in field of work or industry because of his or her disability. If the SSA determines that the applicant is fit to work, most likely, the application will be denied.

In case an applicant’s initial application is denied, he or she can process an appeal. Denied applicants need not to file a new application; instead, they are advised to file for an appeal.

During the appeals process, the SSA will reassess and review the first decision of the agency. Upon review, SSA officials will determine whether or not the initial decision is valid.

Denied applicants can improve their chances of winning their Social Security Income (SSI) claim by asking for legal assistance of a social security disability attorney.

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