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The 3 Most Important Questions for Your Claim

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    The 3 Most Important Questions for Your Claim

    Over the years, I've been asked innumerable times what the most important factors are in a Social Security Disability claim. I've developed a three-part answer.

    1. Do you have a condition that is well accepted by the medical community, and do you have the support of your doctors?

    Multiple sclerosis is a common cause of SSDI claims, and is accepted by the SSA as a red letter condition (it even has a special set of rules, called a 'listing'). Assuming that your doctor supports your claim for disability (and you should have this conversation before leaving work, if possible), you've checked this off your list.

    2. What type of work have you done in the past 15 years?

    The SSA looks at your work in the 15 years prior to the start of your disability. If you cannot do this activity as it is typically performed, you've passed another major hurdle in your claim.

    3. Are you over age 50?

    Claimants over the age of 50 who show that they cannot do their past work only need to prove that they cannot do alternative full time work on their feet (such as a cashier). As such, the many MS patients with chronic fatigue and gait issues can likely qualify under this standard.

    Claimants under age 50 must show that they cannot do any type of work on a full time basis, including sit down (sedentary) work. It is much more challenging to prove that you cannot sit and work than stand and work. Issues with walking are of reduced importance, and issues with bladder frequency, fatigue requiring rest breaks, hand function, and focus become much more important.

    You can win a disability claim under age 50, but it is significantly easier if you are this age or older.

    Hopefully this helps those considering their next steps. Good luck!
    Attorney Jamie R. Hall's practice is focused on assisting individuals with claims and appeals for Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability benefits. He has assisted claimants nationwide, approximately half of whom are MS patients, from his Pennsylvania and Ohio locations. **No attorney/client relationship is created by this communication, and information provided herein is not a substitute for formal advisement.**

    Thanks for the tips on navigating that basket of red tape.
    The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi