Social Security Disability Resource Center
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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois
Ask anyone who has tried to qualify in Illinois for social security disability (SSD) or SSI benefits, and you will undoubtedly get the same story: qualifying for benefits is difficult, and takes a long time. In addition, anyone trying to qualify for disability based on a medical condition not specifically listed in the social security disability impairment manual, or “blue book,” as it is commonly called, faces the additional hurdle of having to demonstrate, through medical records and prior work history, both the nature of their condition and that it is truly disabling.
Many commonly recognized ailments, such as depression, asthma, bipolar disorder, chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, etc., are not given their own listing in the blue book. However, it is possible to be approved for disability for these and just about any other medical condition, because the focus of disability determination is not so much on the condition itself, but on the level of disability which this condition causes the claimant.
The social security administration (SSA) bases its disability decisions on a claimant’s residual functional capacity (RFC) report, which is a medical report that lists what activities a person is or is not capable of doing in light of their impairment. An RFC write up is generated by the disability examiner assigned to a case at disability determination services, the state agency that makes disability determinations for SSA. The disability examiner bases opinions presented in the RFC upon a claimant’s medical records and work history, as well as the input of a physician assigned to his or her unit.
If your RFC supports your claim for disability, you will qualify for a medical vocational allowance, which is the most common way for disability applicants to qualify for benefits. A medical vocational allowance is awarded if it has been determined that you have a medically documented condition that is severe enough to prevent you from working at a former job or at some suitable form of other work for at least 12 months.
The concept of substantial gainful activity (SGA) also comes in to play when determining a medical vocational allowance. SGA is simply the maximum amount an individual may earn each month while still remaining eligible to receive disability benefits (for the current SGA amount, visit this page: How much can you make from work and still be allowed to apply for disability?).
So, when trying to decide if you qualify for social security payments, remember that having been diagnosed by a physician and subsequently treated for a medical condition is only one factor a disability examiner will consider. Far more important than your condition will be the determination of your residual functional capacity, or the extent to which your disability prevents you from making enough money to meet what social security deems to be substantial gainful activity.
1. How long does it take to get a disability hearing scheduled?
2. How long does it take to get a disability hearing?
3. How long does it take to get a decision after a disability hearing?
4. How to get a disability hearing scheduled faster?
5. Getting a faster disability hearing scheduled
6. Can an attorney get you a faster disability hearing?
7. Disability hearing decision timeframe
8. ALJ disability hearing decisions
9. What to expect at a disability hearing
10. What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
11. After a disability hearing, what happens?
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
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Social Security Disability and SSI Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work
How long does it take for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
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Tips and Advice for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims
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Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
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Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
Disability Benefits through Social Security
Information to start with regarding Disability Claims
An Overview of Social Security Disability and SSI
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
The Disability Requirements to be eligible for SSD and SSI Benefits
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions and Impairments
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
Filing your claim for disability benefits
Eligibility for receiving disability benefits
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
The SSDRC Disability Blog
For Individuals living in North Carolina
Disability in North Carolina
North Carolina Disability Lawyer
Getting disability in North Carolina
Filing for disability in Illinois
Applying for disability in Illinois
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