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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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.