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The Grim Fairy Tale of Disability

The criteria the government uses to determine whether someone is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) is a lot like those fairy tales where the hero is required to perform a series of near-impossible tasks before he can win the hand of the beautiful princess and live happily ever after. Winning disability benefits may not be quite as romantic, but it is an equally epic journey.

Here are some of the hoops the Social Security Administration will expect you to jump through:

  • The Recent Work Test — Depending on your age when you become disabled, you will need to have worked 1.5 years out of the three years before you became disabled, half the time between when you turned 21 and when you became disabled, or five out of the 10 years immediately preceding when you became disabled.
  • The Duration of Work Test —Depending on your age, you must have worked for a minimum amount of time ranging from 1.5 years if you are under age 28, to 9.5 years if you are age 60 or more.
  • Medical documentation — You must provide the names, addresses, and phone numbers of every doctor and health care professional who treated you, and a complete history of the dates of your treatment, the names and dosages of all the medicines you take and all of your laboratory and test results and medical records.
  • Severity of condition — Your disability must be severe enough to have prevented you from performing basic work activities for at least one year.
  • Ability to work —  Your condition not only must prevent you from doing the work you did before you developed the disability, but also must prevent you from doing any other kind of work the agency might consider appropriate for you.

For average mortals with less-than-mythic abilities, the assistance of a North Carolina SSD attorney can make all the difference in your happily-ever-after.

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