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Will my claim be approved?


Minneapolis Disability Attorneys

Will my Minnesota Social Security disability claim be approved?

As experienced Minneapolis disability attorneys, we know the question all clients want answered is “Am I disabled enough to qualify for Minnesota Social Security disability benefits?” For most applicants, the answer is not as simple as “yes” or “no.” This is because the meaning of the term “disabled,” as defined by Social Security law and regulations, is not as straightforward as you may think.

How does the Social Security Administration define disability?

In contrast to workers’ compensation or private disability insurance, Social Security disability benefits are offered for total, long-term disability only. Under the Social Security Act, a person is deemed disabled if he or she is unable “to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

Stated differently, you should be approved for Minnesota Social Security disability benefits if you (1) have a mental or physical impairment; (2) that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year; and (3) that prevents you from doing your previous jobs and other jobs that exist in significant numbers, considering your age, education, and work experience.

The five-step sequential evaluation process to determine disability

To determine whether you are disabled, the Social Security Administration uses a step-by-step process involving five questions that are followed in a set order. If the Social Security Administration finds that you are disabled or not disabled at any step, then the determination is over and does not go on to the next step. The five steps are:

  1. Are you engaging in “substantial gainful activity?” If the answer is “yes,” you are not disabled and your claim will be denied. If the answer is “no,” the evaluator goes on to the next step. Generally, to pass this step you must not be working or, if you are, you must be earning only a minimal amount.
  2. Is your condition “severe?” If the answer is “yes,” the evaluator proceeds to the next step. If the answer is “no,” you are not disabled and your claim will be denied. A “severe” condition must interfere with basic work-related activities and last for at least 12 months or be expected to result in death.
  3. Does your condition meet or “equal” one of the impairments described in the Social Security regulations known as the “Listing of Impairments?” If the answer is “yes,” you are disabled. The evaluation process ends and you will be awarded benefits. If the answer is no, the evaluator proceeds to the next step. The Listing of Impairments describes medical criteria for many medical impairments. If your medical findings match these criteria or as just as severe as these criteria, the Social Security Administration presumes you are too impaired to work.
  4. Can you do “past relevant work”? If the answer is “yes,” you are not disabled and your claim will be denied. If the answer is “no,” the evaluation goes on to the final step. “Past relevant work” is any job you held for the past 15 years for long enough to learn how to do it.
  5. Can you perform any other type of work, considering your age, education, and experience? If the answer is “yes,” you are not disabled and your claim will be denied. If the answer is “no,” you are disabled and will be awarded benefits.

Prepare for an appeal

Be prepared for the possibility that your claim for Social Security disability benefits will be denied as around 60 percent of all claims are denied initially. If your claim is denied, you have a right to request reconsideration. If your request for reconsideration is also denied, as about 80 percent are, you have a right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. It is at this stage that you will most likely succeed in your claim for Minneapolis Social Security disability benefits.

One of the most significant mistakes a disability claimant can make is to give up with appealing. A majority of claimants who appeal until they get a hearing are ultimately awarded benefits.

Contact our Minneapolis disability attorneys

To discuss your Minnesota Social Security disability claim and find out if you could be disabled under the five-step sequential evaluation process, contact our experienced Minneapolis disability attorneys. Simply complete the form on this page or call or email us to schedule your free initial consultation.

 

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Areas Served

We handle SSI and Social Security disability cases in these Minnesota counties and communities: Counties: Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Anoka County, Carver County, Scott County, Dakota unty. Communities: Minneapolis, St Paul, Bloomington, Eagan, St Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove,Brooklyn Park, Roseville, Woodbury, Hastings, Duluth, Alexandria, Brainerd, Rochester, St. Cloud, Mankato.