If a person becomes ill or injured to the point where they are unable to work for a period of 12 months or more, they may be entitled to apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits depending upon the amount of work history and evidence of their impairment. While the amount of time a person has worked governs the type of benefit, they are eligible for -either SSDI or SSI, both require sufficient medical evidence in order to succeed.
The importance of medical evidence cannot be overstated. Each person who applies for these benefits is responsible for providing objective medical evidence of their impairments which prevents them from engaging in employment. Examples of medical evidence from acceptable medical sources include records from physicians, hospitals, and clinics which the Claimant has be treated. This may be difficult for some, who do not have or have lost their health insurance. However, it is critical that even without having health insurance, a Claimant continue to seek treatment from whatever sources are available including here in the Sarasota area, the health department, free clinics, and organizations which accept fees based upon a person’s ability to pay such as the Senior Friendship Center.
Once an impairment has been established by medical evidence, a Claimant may support the severity of their condition by using medical and nonmedical sources to show the extent to which their impairment affects their ability to function in a work setting. Examples of these include the Claimant’s school records, personnel records from their employment, testimony from family members and caregivers who know the extent to which Claimant is incapacitated.
For more information on the above or any other questions which you may have regarding Social Security Disability Benefits or Supplemental Security Income Benefits please contact Attorney Beth Levine at Lancaster & Eure.