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How to prove a claim for SSDI benefits

Many Houston residents might be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but they have little or no idea how to pursue their claim. Gathering and presenting evidence that supports a claim for SSDI benefits can be difficult and complex. Knowing where to start in assembling relevant evidence can be a useful place to begin, and because many disability claims are initially denied, great care in gathering evidence can be the difference between success and failure.

SSDI benefits are available for anyone who is entirely unable to work by reason of a disease or injury. Proving total disability begins with a showing that the claimant can no longer do the work that he or she did prior to the onset of the disabling condition. Second, the disability prevents the claimant from doing other work. Finally, medical evidence must show that the disability is expected to last at least 12 months or to result in the claimant's death.

The Social Security Administration relies on descriptions of the claimant's performance at work and also uses a financial test known as "substantial gainful activity" to determine disability. If a claimant is unable to earn more than $1090 per month, he or she will be determined to be disabled if the other two criteria, permanence and totality, are proven. If a person is capable of earning more than the prescribed amount, the application will be denied.

Medical evidence is obviously a critical part of an SSDI claim. A claimant must obtain all medical records of his or her health care providers that pertain to the illness or injury. A vocational expert may also provide valuable evidence about the claimant's ability to perform various work-related tasks. Co-workers may also provide valuable evidence of disability.

A lawyer who is experienced in handling SSDI claims may be able to render invaluable assistance in gathering evidence, completing the application and explaining the case to the SSA examiner. If the claim should be denied, and many meet just that fate, a knowledgeable attorney can help pursue an appeal.

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